What's Up (or Down) With the Highest-Priced Markets?

Posted by: Peter Coy on February 2, 2007

I extracted this little table from a spreadsheet sent to me on Friday by Zillow.com. This data and lots more is going to be posted on the Zillow website on Feb. 8. The first number is the Zindex—i.e., the estimated median price for all homes, not just those that were sold—in the fourth quarter of 2006. The second number is the percentage change in the Zindex from a year earlier.

San Francisco $684,459 -1%
Salinas, CA $654,503 -2%
Santa Barbara CA $627,323 -1%
Honolulu $626,452 1%
Los Angeles $545,409 2%
San Luis Obispo CA $542,856 -11%
San Diego, CA $518,274 -5%
New York $449,910 -1%
Barnstable, MA $404,375 -4%
Naples, FL MSA $387,167 -8%

Reader Comments

Mark Norman

February 7, 2007 12:28 PM

I know that you are only presenting the numbers that Zillow is providing you, but I would never (as a realtor) look at "all homes on the market" as they have shown it.

It is totally wrong to be looking at expired, canceled, withdrawn and actives (as well as sold & pending) to determine a price for a given area. They are factoring in all the inaccuracies of pricing by local agents (including the inexperienced ones).

I know that if they use a consistent method to report the year to year changes it may lessen the impact but what does it prove?

More importantly they should be showing the number of transactions year to year, the days on market, the average price (asking and sale), the median price, high and lows. Then you might have some useful numbers to have an intelligent discussion.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, they are providing misinformation that clouds the more important issues that should be discussed.

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About

BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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