I was reading a book last night entitled Different by Youngme Moon. The author mentions on one page how two people can look at the same picture and have two totally different interpertations. It occured to me that the same can be said with Boston real estate sales data.

Let me see if I can explain this better. One of the most well-known opitcal illussions of all time is the drawing below – a young lady and an elderly women – embedded in one:


CLICK PHOTO TO ENLARGE

In an illusion such as this one, it is only possible to see one image at a time; to see the other reqiures a deliberate effort to refoucus. When I looked at this picture all I can make out is the young lady. Try as I might, I couldn’t see the elderly one – until I learned to put my finger over the eye and nose in the image, hint place your finger over the young womens eye and ear of the young lady( If you see the old lady place your finger over the right her eye and nose) Another hint, if you only see the young women, look at her neckline for the old ladies nose) And just like that, the picture transformed, and I could see the old lady.

I mention this, because it looks like the first six months of 2010 Back Bay condo sales will exceed that of 2008. But wait, the picture changes if you take out new condo development projects and only include actual re-sales. The picture changes again if you question whether the W is part of Back Bay. Will the first six months of Back Bay condo sales and prices be better than that of 2008? I guess it all depends on what data you want to put your finger over.

File Under: Real Estate Psychiatry 101

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