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Hughes Estates Blog

Composed by Matt Hughes of Coldwell Banker and www.HughesEstates.com

By Matt Hughes | Agent in San Anselmo, CA

Greenbrae Real Estate market not on the “DataQuick” cliff quite yet

DataQuick is a San Diego based “data” company offering real estate and land stats. A lot of the media sources refer to DataQuicks findings as a true barometer of local real estate markets, and so do some agents. I want to know why……

My complaint about a lot of “stats” that are reported is that they are ran from a desk miles or counties away from the subject market. We KNOW the person running the numbers is not taking into account road noise, views, crime, remodels, and a number of things people attach value to when buying real etstate. We are also unaware of how  they get thier numbers……until now.

Some would argue that numbers don’t lie, and that they could be ran from anywhere with the same result. Here is an example from the Wall Street Journal stating that the Greenbrae median price is down 27% . What I appreciated about the article was this moment of honest clarity: “DataQuick cautioned that the sharp price fluctuations in some cities are partly attributable to a shifting mix of homes sold and a low number of transactions. For example, more high-end homes sold in Palo Alto would help boost its median price, while a shift to more lower-end homes in Greenbrae could depress its median.” ……….reallly?

I started this article out thinking I would reach the same conclusion as DQ, but I couldn’t. In fact, Quarter 4 of 2008 versus Quarter 4 of 2009 saw only a 9.27% decrease according to MLS data. That prompted me to call DataQuick with a big “Huh?”

The person I spoke with stated, “We do not use the MLS. We use tax records or public records.”

I then asked, “Do you include quitclaim deeds, family sales, trustee sales, auctions, etc…?”

She says, “We do exlcude quitclaim deeds and trustee sales.”

Here is the problem with that: I ran thier numbers through public records, and came up with 5 sales in Q4 of 2008. I also ran Q4 2008 through the MLS, and there were only 3 sales. The problem is of the 3 on the MLS, and the 5 in public records, THERE WERE NO MATCHING PROPERTIES. Public records are often inaccurate and not up to date. A sale through the MLS has be to recorded at the county for the property to transfer from buyer to seller, but those 3 sales were not in the records, though they obviously recorded because they were transferred or SOLD…..Maybe the public records are not the ideal source for the direction of the market TODAY.

Comment on this piece with the town you want to know more about…..

I can have your towns numbers to you in 48 hours. Email me through my site or comment below and your wish will come true. You can also sign up for FREE email alerts on your town, a price range, or create multiple search profiles. I do offer the service for free, and I think you will find it quite useful. 

Thanks for stopping by and I will be posting again soon, no later than Tuesday the 26th…….see you then.

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