A lot of people greet press releases published by the National Association of Realtors with a good dose of skepticism.
Which they should! We’ve all seen their rosy forecasts, month after month. Often, it seems as though they have no grasp on reality.
I mostly agree – their forecasts seem to be off, and they seem to put a lot of spin on numbers, especially the bad.
I think they do a good job on a couple of things, however. One of them is New Home Sales.
See, the US Census Bureau reports a new home (not resale) as “sold” when a contract is signed, not when the deed is transferred. Doesn’t that seem odd?
Many buyers of homes over the past year have canceled their purchases; in some cities, up to 50% of contracts have been canceled (buyers either get their deposits back or simply walk away!).
The National Association of Realtors, however, only counts a new home (not resale) as “sold” when it closes.
Makes sense, no?
NAR’s existing and new home sales ignores important segments of the market – for-sale-by-owners, specifically. Those sales, I would imagine, would skew the average and median sales prices downward, which is why you probably see differences reported every month between their numbers and others’.
In Massachusetts, we have access to different sets of data. The Massachusetts Association of Realtors releases monthly sales information, as does The Warren Group. And, in Boston, we have the Listing Information Network (LINK) which I think does an excellent job of compiling data. Plus, of course, I report data each week (woefully incomplete, but probably a good snapshot of activity, when used regularly).
You should collect as much data as possible, of course. Fortunately, there are plenty of options, these days.
Contact me to find out more about Boston condos for sale or to set up an appointment call/text 617-595-3712.
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Updated: 1st Q 2018