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Lots of Small Fish

I was looking on Trulia for some appreciation numbers. Northest Portland gets hammered in the results. Down from an average sales price of $606,921 (May-July ’07) to $445,189 (Aug-Oct ’07). What’s going on? From what I can tell, the Civic and some other condo complexes have started to close. A large number of these units are smaller and are priced around $300,000 thus dragging the median and average price down from what has previously been an area of largely higher priced resale property.Portland Real Estate Blog

6 Comments on “Lots of Small Fish

  1. That kind of shows how unreliable median house price figures are. Might that explain other things?

  2. Interesting site.

    In NW Portland, both median and average sales prices dropped by >20% over the last quarter. But average price /sq ft dipped by only 3% over the same time period. So the >20% drops look like they were primarily driven by square footage.

    Overall, I would expect $ / sq ft to reflect actual price appreciation better than average or median sales price for exactly this reason.

    Also interesting is that the *year-over-year* average price / sq ft in Pearl District has DROPPED by more than 10% (from $463/sq ft to $419/sq ft). In contrast, the more commonly reported median sales price shows a yoy GAIN of 8%. For the same reason as the NW example, I would tend to believe that the $/sq ft statistic is more indicative of real price depeciation …

  3. Does anyone know where I can find prices for *sold* properties in the Pearl district?

  4. I’d forgotten about Trulia. That was very interesting.

    FWIW, they do have a square foot metric.

  5. Ok, if there are “plenty of small fish” when prices are going down, could there be “plenty of big fish” when prices go up? That is when only high value homes sell, then the median price goes up, even if each individual property goes down in market value.

    I must say, it seems like when the data indicates a positive return, there is nothing to question, but when negative data is presented, then it must be carefully examined.

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