Over at voiceofsandiego.org I wrote a bit about the bifurcation of our market, by which I mean the fact that the high-end markets have held up so much better than low-end markets. My idea is to start tracking the price and volume of two representative sets of zip codes: the strong markets and the weak ones. So for instance, I might do a chart of the median price/square foot of homes in the three strongest zip codes (above a certain size, to prevent noise) and of the three weakest. To determine strongest or weakest I would look at pricing and volume, mostly pricing since that’s what we’re really most interested in.
I thought about separating out things by price range, but that’s kind of weird because price is one of the things we will be measuring and changing prices could cause houses to jump categories. By using zips instead, I at least have a more constant set of houses… no house is going to change zip codes regardless of its price movements.
Adam (aka SD Realtor) has already given me some good pointers that I want to look into regarding which zip codes to use, how to handicap them, etc. If anyone else has suggestions please feel free to post them.