Being an ex-physicist, I admit to a fasination with numbers and statistics, sometimes beyond the point where it is useful. But for the most part it comes in handy when my clients ask me about what is happening in the Napa Valley and I have the facts to tell them. As I am certain many of you do, I read the Case Shiller Reports (“CSR”) and wonder how the averages there relate to their small part of the cosmos, in my case the Napa Valley. Being business has been a bit slower the last few days, I decided to see how the average home sales here stood up to other areas of the country.
I knew from experience average home sale prices here correlated overall to what was being reported in CSR, quite a few more sales at lower prices. Then, I wondered what criteria was used in generating a CSR. After about 15 minutes of reading some of their fine print, I gave up realizing my math skills had been in the closet for too long to begin to try generate an exact comparison. So I decided to try a few rough comparisons. I used stats from BAREIS, my local MLS (Multiple Listing Service), to find average homes sale prices for several areas here in the valley. The first thing I realized was small areas, towns, cities etc., are not statistically meaningful when compared to large metropolitan areas. In fact, only Calistoga had sales in the 4 one month periods used in the CSR. Yountville and St. Helena had sales in only two. Next I decided to check the stats for the City of Napa and the entire Napa County. Here once again, the numbers correlate to the CSR. But due to the fact there are often sales of very high priced homes in the Napa Valley, just look at Calistoga below, the numbers are easily skewed by a few higher priced sales. Given all this, I still find the comparisons interesting and hope you, the readers of my blog, do too. It does point out one other fact I have always known: A good local Realtor is one of your best resources when looking to buy in a particular area.
FACTS FOR NAPA COUNTY, CITY OF NAPA, CITY OF CALISTOGA (number sold/average sales price)
Dec-08 Nov-08 Dec-07 Dec-06
Napa County 116/$576,915 79/$413,507 44/$668,189 80/$690,148
City of Napa 60/$496,551 55/$424,476 32/$695,419 58/$653,526
Calistoga 2/$1,413,500 3/$421,000 2/$1,324,500 4/$1,038,000
BAREIS sales represent approximately 90% + of all Napa County sales