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Three Cents Worth: Manhattan's Seasons, "The 200" Version

[This week, real estate appraiser, Curbed graph guru, blogger, and podcaster Jonathan Miller celebrates with double the graphs!]

Before we get started, this week's Three Cents Worth comes in at number 200. As in The 200, and not the "B" movie version The 300. I've been writing this chart column for Curbed since circa mid-2005, which, in real estate years, is about 49 years. Curbed readers taught me how to make a legible chart and NEVER use gradients (you know who you are). I told Lock & co. I had actually estimated the number of hours creating The 200, and I could have paid for one of my kids' four-year college tuition. But you must ask yourself, what's more important, getting a college education or reading Curbed? Exactly.

This week I took a another look at seasons. I updated one of my favorite charts from back in 2006 to show seasonality through 2Q 2012. I looked at the quarter-over-quarter change in number of sales and median sales price for the past 22 years and averaged the quarter-over-quarter percent change results of each of the 4 quarters.

Some takeaways on the seasonal analysis:

· Spring Market: Yes, the second quarter spring market is when we see the biggest increase in price and sales. Even with the crazy volatility of the past five years, the pattern remains. In fact, the number of sales became much more forceful than the last time I looked at it in 2006.
· One-Quarter Winter Slowdown: From 3Q to 4Q is the only time we see (on average) sales fall below the prior quarter levels
· First Half/Second Half: The first half of the year sees rising prices (Think Wall Street bonuses) and the second half of the year sees weakness in prices.

Since it's a special day, I also whipped up one more chart.

I also looked at the market year-over-year, taking the same metrics (sales and price) and analyzing them over the same 22 years. I did it to show the crazy volatility we have seen, especially in sales over the past six years. As of late, the market has been a little more boring. Phew.

Now on to The 300.
· Matrix []
· Three Cents Worth archive [Curbed]