Real estate news and statistics

Real estate news and statistics

Real estate news and statisticsThis morning in my newsfeed, (yes, I’m still a fanboy of rss) the following two headlines appeared in sequence:

Canadian home sales tick up in June

Canada Home Sales Down 0.6 Per Cent From Year Ago

To the casual observer, this information would appear contradictory. However, we all know that old bit about statistics “There are lies, damn lies and statistics”. And real estate reporting is all about statistics.

Real estate reporting is all about statistics, making the numbers dance. The writer can call any tune he wants. The news is good. The news is bad. It’s all a matter of spin. Dance numbers, dance. (I could have used a pottery analogy here. That might have been better). Real estate reporting is all about statistics, forming the data into any shape you want. The writer can decide. The news is good. The news is bad. It’s all a matter of spin.

 

Real estate is local

It doesn’t matter anyways though what the newspapers say as we all know but often forget that real estate is local. It might be that three bedroom back-splits sold well in Forest Hill last month. Is that because everyone suddenly decided that Forest Hill is the neighborhood to be in and back-splits are the best bang for the buck?

It doesn’t. It’s just what happened.

It is what it is. You can only find meaning when all the data is in, over the long term.

Real estate reporting is pretty useless really. On a local level, the real estate board or association and the local realtors spin the data – “on par with the five year average” is the current statistic. At the provincial or national level, statistics matter not. Who cares what the condo market in Toronto or Vancouver is doing. Except skewing the data, what happens there is of little consequence to home values in Kitchener Waterloo.

 

About the headlines:

Canadian home sales tick up in June

What’s it mean? June saw more home sales than May this year.

Canada Home Sales Down 0.6 Per Cent From Year Ago.

What’s it mean? June ’13 saw marginally fewer home sales than June ’12.

What’s interesting is that the two stories are almost certainly from the same source (CREA- Canadian Real Estate Association). Neither headline mentioned that prices are up nationally almost 5% (not important but contrary to public opinion) and that inventory is down .5% (too small to be important, but indicative of the mood).

 

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