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Real estate boards ignoring month-to-month losses to promote year-over-year gains

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guest | 09 Aug 2011, 02:40 PM Agree 0


Rather than compare July figures to the previous month, real estate boards are instead touting the gains in sales and prices compared to 12 months ago. But this time last year, the market experienced a significant downturn. The Ottawa Real Estate Board ran this headline on its latest press release, for example: “Ottawa housing market warms up in July.” In fact, sales were down 22.5% in July compared to June, and average prices were down 3.6%.The board instead promoted the fact sales were up 18.8% compared to a year earlier, and prices were up 6.2% over that period. Similar trends were also found in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, as local boards there also promoted the yearly gains rather than monthly drops. One reason is that yearly trends are considered more accurate by some, as sales can largely be influenced by the weather and time of year, for example. Thus, comparing July with a previous July can be more useful than comparing it with June.Others see it as spin by the boards to promote a constant positive picture in each of the press releases, which often get repeated in news media with the same angle that’s fed to them.In his blog, Garth Turner labeled the practice of using yearly stats by the Toronto Real Estate Board as “deception” and “illusion.” “Big drop in sales and prices from last month. Valuations trending lower since the spring. Total 2011 sales lower than those recorded last year. So are words like ‘strong home sales,’ second best on record’ and substantial rebound’ responsible? Of course not,” noted Turner on Toronto’s market. “These are realtor-salesguys.”Turner was referring to the August press release, which quoted Toronto Real Estate Board President Richard Silver. “If the current pace of sales hold up, we could see the second best year on record under the current TREB market area,” Silver said in the release.Sales in Toronto were up 23% in July 2011 compared to July 2010, but were down 22% from June 2011.Some boards, such as the Edmonton Real Estate Board, just left the bad news out of the release. While promoting that sales were up 3.6% in July compared to 12 months earlier, there was no mention by the board that sales were also down 9.3% compared to the previous month.Take a look below at how the picture of these markets greatly changes depending if you’re comparing monthly or yearly stats.
 
A down month, but a good year overall




July 2011 residential home sales stats


Sales compared to previous month


Sales compared to previous July


Average prices compared to previous month


Average prices compared to previous July




Vancouver


-21.2%


+14%


-0.1%*


+9.2%*




Toronto


-22%


+23%


-3.2%


+9.7%




Calgary


-26.2%


+8%


-1.86%


+0.6%




Ottawa


-22.5%


+18.8%


-3.6%


+6.2%




Victoria


-15.4%


-0.1%


-7.7%


-13.3%




Edmonton


-9.3%


3.6%


+1.1%


+1.3%




*The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver does not report average prices, but rather a benchmark price for what a typical home would cost.
  • Gina | 09 Aug 2011, 04:29 PM Agree 0
    Hello,

    Need guidance.

    I have a house with my mom. She wants to sell me her share . What steps I need to take.

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    G.R.
  • David | 09 Aug 2011, 04:46 PM Agree 0
    Good points but remember real estate sales are seasonal and typically slow down in the summer, not to mention most days this July were too hot to be out house hunting.
  • Gina | 09 Aug 2011, 05:29 PM Agree 0
    Hello,

    Need guidance.

    I have a house with my mom. She wants to sell me her share . What steps I need to take.

    Please advise.

    Thank you.

    G.R.
  • David | 09 Aug 2011, 05:46 PM Agree 0
    Good points but remember real estate sales are seasonal and typically slow down in the summer, not to mention most days this July were too hot to be out house hunting.
  • karen | 09 Aug 2011, 07:06 PM Agree 0
    to Gina, get a lawyer.
  • karen | 09 Aug 2011, 08:06 PM Agree 0
    to Gina, get a lawyer.
  • YoudontGetit | 09 Aug 2011, 08:19 PM Agree 0
    Sales ALMOST ALWAYS go down in July compared to June. It's summer! It dosen't mean anything. Why would boards report this as a downturn in the market, when it is just the regular ebb and flow of the real estate market?!?

    It is more interesting and relevant to compare the most current month to what was happening a year ago. Also - one month is just that. You can't make too much hay out of one month anyway.
  • YoudontGetit | 09 Aug 2011, 09:19 PM Agree 0
    Sales ALMOST ALWAYS go down in July compared to June. It's summer! It dosen't mean anything. Why would boards report this as a downturn in the market, when it is just the regular ebb and flow of the real estate market?!?

    It is more interesting and relevant to compare the most current month to what was happening a year ago. Also - one month is just that. You can't make too much hay out of one month anyway.
  • CMW | 09 Aug 2011, 09:23 PM Agree 0
    Completely agree with the commentators here. Stats should always be viewed over a period of time...month to month provides little real information.
  • CMW | 09 Aug 2011, 10:23 PM Agree 0
    Completely agree with the commentators here. Stats should always be viewed over a period of time...month to month provides little real information.
  • Fred Crockett | 10 Aug 2011, 01:13 AM Agree 0
    Kim seems like a nice Canadian analyst - looks at the immediate results, but cannot take a step back and consider the truth of the marketplace - July's comparable to December - Kim has an outstanding future with PropertyGuys or ComFree.......
  • Fred Crockett | 10 Aug 2011, 02:13 AM Agree 0
    Kim seems like a nice Canadian analyst - looks at the immediate results, but cannot take a step back and consider the truth of the marketplace - July's comparable to December - Kim has an outstanding future with PropertyGuys or ComFree.......
  • YatterMatters | 10 Aug 2011, 02:14 PM Agree 0
    Vancouver average prices can be found here:

    http://www.rebgv.org/sites/default/files/REBGV%20Stats%20Package%20July%202011.pdf

    and here:

    http://www.yattermatters.com/2011/08/vancouver-average-flip-and-bounce/
  • YatterMatters | 10 Aug 2011, 03:14 PM Agree 0
    Vancouver average prices can be found here:

    http://www.rebgv.org/sites/default/files/REBGV%20Stats%20Package%20July%202011.pdf

    and here:

    http://www.yattermatters.com/2011/08/vancouver-average-flip-and-bounce/
  • JY | 10 Aug 2011, 03:47 PM Agree 0
    Great article, Thank you
    I had enough reading from real estate boards manipulated stats, we want just the facts.Thank you Kit, keep them coming!
  • JY | 10 Aug 2011, 04:47 PM Agree 0
    Great article, Thank you
    I had enough reading from real estate boards manipulated stats, we want just the facts.Thank you Kit, keep them coming!
  • Colby | 10 Aug 2011, 06:03 PM Agree 0
    As Mark Twain said: Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

    In looking back to June over July of 2010 in the Toronto Real Estate Board the exact same thing happened:

    June, 2010
    Sales: 8,442
    Median Price: $367,750

    July, 2010
    Sales: 6,564
    Median Price: $361,000

    So basing one's analysis on month over month stats gives a very limited skewed picture of the overall market. Overall, TREB is showing an increased average price with July YTD of $465,777 vs. $432,253 at the same time last year. There are slighly lower sales YTD 55,863 (2011) vs. 56,829 (2010)
  • Colby | 10 Aug 2011, 07:03 PM Agree 0
    As Mark Twain said: Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.

    In looking back to June over July of 2010 in the Toronto Real Estate Board the exact same thing happened:

    June, 2010
    Sales: 8,442
    Median Price: $367,750

    July, 2010
    Sales: 6,564
    Median Price: $361,000

    So basing one's analysis on month over month stats gives a very limited skewed picture of the overall market. Overall, TREB is showing an increased average price with July YTD of $465,777 vs. $432,253 at the same time last year. There are slighly lower sales YTD 55,863 (2011) vs. 56,829 (2010)
  • RealEstate | 14 Aug 2011, 05:58 PM Agree 0
    I don't know what education level the author earned in life time. When speaking of stat you should compare current month to previous year month to show growth or loss. That ensures you are comparing apple to apple. That's a principle that mathematicians agree.

    Please don't put unsupported facts as you decieve your readers such as JY.

    Regards,
  • RealEstate | 14 Aug 2011, 06:58 PM Agree 0
    I don't know what education level the author earned in life time. When speaking of stat you should compare current month to previous year month to show growth or loss. That ensures you are comparing apple to apple. That's a principle that mathematicians agree.

    Please don't put unsupported facts as you decieve your readers such as JY.

    Regards,
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