Oakland Real Estate Prices – does month of year matter?

May 1, 2017

(This article was first published on R Analysis – Analyst at Large, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

I’ve started doing some basic analysis on Oakland real estate prices over the past decade (multi-tenant buildings only).  There’s still a lot to unpack here, but I’m only able to investigate this 30 minutes at a time (new dad life), so I’ll be making lots of short posts on sub-topics.  The first one I wanted to explore quickly is: does month of year matter?  I’ve often heard that summer is the busy season for buying a house because families with children try not to move during the school year.  Does this rule also apply to multi-tenant buildings as well (which tend to be purchased by investors)?

I’ve collected the sales over the past decade and group by month of year.  We can see that summer months (May, June, and July) do see more sales than other months.  Interestingly, December also tends to see a large number of sales.  Maybe people have more time over the holidays to check out investment properties?  Not sure what else could be driving this weird spike in sales in December – any ideas?

Given that the most sales occur in summer months, I wanted to see if this has any impact on sale price.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a relationship at all between month of year and sale price.  I had expected to see higher prices in the summer months under the assumption that demand is higher during that period, but maybe supply is also higher during that time (and they rise in roughly equal proportion).  This is something that I could theoretically test (since I have the list date as well as the sale date for each property), but I think there are more interesting topics to explore…  It’s enough for me to know that month of year doesn’t appear to be correlated with sale price!

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