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Consumers don’t care about housing VOLUME statistics: they care about PRICE

Consumers don’t care about housing VOLUME statistics: they care about PRICE

 

Real estate publications (real estate boards, national newspapers and various associations) write their reports in a way that confuses consumers. Consumers of their analysis cannot easily interpret the reporting of SALES VOLUME from the reporting of PRICE CHANGES.  Homebuyers and sellers care about PRICE, and yet the reporting typically starts with an inarticulate reference to the market TRANSACTION VOLUME, not PRICE.

 

GTA housing prices

 

Here’s a recent example:

According to data released by (…a real estate board) last week, sales were down a whopping 39.5 per cent year-over-year in March (2018).

 

Homeowners read this and think the worst – that their home is now worth 39% less. That's not true. 

 

These reports start by confusingly highlighting something that most consumers really don’t care about and don’t want to learn about – TRANSACTION VOLUME. The word “Sales” means transaction volume.  It’s the number of homes that changed hands.  Who cares about VOLUME?  Economists, newspapers and market analysts.  To them it implies something about the evolving state of the economy. 

 

The thing that consumers care about is home PRICE.  When consumers read most reports on the housing market, the reader must diligently wade past the confusing “Sales” mentions, and get to the portion on PRICE.  I look forward to the point when these publishers recognize the consumer need and clearly state their findings in capital letters, with the most important topic first.  Here’s what that would look like:

 

Housing PRICES are up/down by X% in the last year-over-year period.

Housing TRANSACTIONS are up/down by Y% in the same period.

 

That is actually what these publications are trying to communicate, but as a homeowner/homebuyer reader, you need to be careful and clear minded to distill most reports down to those two points. 

 

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