Real estate data and interpretation
Posted August 6, 2008on:
However, I always enjoy reading what real estate owned businesses have to say about the numbers. In the Stuff article we see that house sales increased by 73, and we are told that this
shows that vendors who need to sell are gradually adjusting to the market and lowering their expectations
Very good – so according to this sales are starting to pick up again. However, prices eased pretty sharply. In order to account for this we are told:
Mr Thompson says while prices clearly eased during the month, the average was skewed slightly by a package of 87 apartments going unconditional during that time and reducing the overall average
Just a second. There was a one-off sale of apartments. Often when there is a sudden “one-off” event like this, people will look past it in order to get an idea of underlying activity in the market. As a result, the trend in sales would be 87 lower than the reported number – or below the June result. This does not suggest that house sales are recovering!
If it wasn’t for the fact that Barefoot and Thompson wanted to make the fall in prices not sound too bad we never would have heard of this one off increase in sales – and so we might have also taken the wrong conclusion from the data.
Ultimately they have to make a choice, was there an increase in sales and a sharp fall in prices, or a moderate easing in prices but no improvement in the sales picture – they can’t cut the data both ways 🙂
Update: The commentator at the real estate blog discusses how the apartment block influenced the median sales price.