Home sales have increased dramatically in recent months, but that brisk activity is far from uniform. While cheap homes are positively flying off the shelves, sales have actually slowed in many of the more expensive markets.

The October resale data makes this conclusion starkly clear. I tallied up the 20 San Diego zip codes with the largest year-over-year sales increases (I will refer to these as the fast zip codes) and the 20 zip codes with the smallest increases (the slow zips). As shown in the nearby table, there was huge disparity in the results. The fast zip codes experienced a huge year-over-year volume increase of 186 percent on average. Sales in the slow zip codes, in comparison, were actually down 11 percent.

It’s pretty clear that what separates the brisk markets from the slow ones is price. While the fast zip codes averaged to a median price of $279,938, the average price in the slow zips was double that at $561,113. Those lower-end home prices had been harder hit, unsurpsingly — the average year-over-year price decline for the fast zips was 30 percent versus just 12 percent for the slow ones.

For the curious, the full list of the zip codes I used can be found here.

This bifurcation, while not new, is getting more dramatic. I ran this study back in June and a quick gander at that article will show that the disparity in both sales and prices has increased markedly.

— RICH TOSCANO

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