There’s a very interesting real estate map in this morning’s San Francisco Chronicle. The map is a link directly from the article, so click on the map to to find more. The article by Carolyn Said is titled “Pinpointing home prices by ZIP code”
A research team took a look at the $/sq ft of homes which sold between November 2009 and February 2010. They only looked at zip codes which had at least 10 home sales, so there are several zip codes which are blank.
I like the methodology in concept, but in the market areas we cover – homes sold in Berkeley, Albany, Kensington, El Cerrito & Rockridge Oakland, there have been very few homes on the market. I think a 6 or 12 month rolling average would have given a better overview of price changes, particularly since they’re comparing winter 2009 to summer 2006 prices per sq ft.
That said, it’s still interesting.
Real estate is local, and you can see the effect that neighborhood has upon the change in $/sq ft. We live in Berkeley’s Thousand Oaks neighborhood – zip code 94707, which is just to the west of 94708. These two zip codes in both Berkeley and Kensington – the dotted line shows the boundary between the two communities.
ZIP code 94708 is one of the few which shows an increase in sales price per sq ft, which seems about right.
Home prices in Berkeley and Kensington are not immune from changes in the real estate market. The prices are tempered by the fact that for many years it’s been so hard to get an offer accepted that people who have purchased homes in the past 10 years (and not refinanced) still have equity. Even with a moderate price drop, home owners can still sell and receive a check from the sale.