You made some great points except I'll have to make some points of my own. ABSOLUTE DOLLARS is MORE important than perceived rate of return. "Rate of return" is just a tool. At the end of the day, what you really care about is ABSOLUTE DOLLARS.
Secondly, this time period also spanned the two biggest BUSTS ever -- the tech BUST and the real estate BUST. When you make an argument, you have to present BOTH sides of the argument.
Sorry, I am a realtor, but I'm also a high-tech person just like you, so I also am very aware of logic in my arguments. Of course, by now, you are never going to use me to buy or sell your house because I am presenting a different side of the argument from you. Most people prefer to use people who always agree with them :-)
You are right it does skew things if you only use the MLS for comps, but most agents know how to get the real info if they are running comps. If they do not know how to get it they should not be running comps. Appraisers have ways of getting to the truth also. It is just harder for consumers to get the true facts and even harder for some realtors and some associations to get past their fear of consumers having the ability to get accurate information instead of getting all their information directly from realtors.
MLS Realtors post the actual sales dollar on the executed sales agreement and the cost buyer paid at closing
Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
Regardless of what motivates sellers or agents to hide the final sale price, what's most interesting to me is the way this all biases the stats and distorts comp analysis. For example the last list price for 325 Channing #215 was $1.4M, so as I understand it this price would be used by an agent doing a comp. analysis on similar properties, particularly those in the same complex. As for motive, you can see why everyone would want the sale price hidden: the unit was purchased for$1.360M in 2004, and if something sold SEVEN years later at a LOSS, clearly that would dampen people's enthusiasm for that complex (where the seller's friends still live and the agent would like to make more sales) and the market in general. Actually, come to think of it, given the 6% commission of $84K, there's no was the unit didn't sell for a loss. Pretty amazing since 2004 marked the end of the tech bubble bust and the start of the real estate bubble.
If you think that owning your own home is not a good investment, you can always opt for renting (in which case you will be buying a home .... for someone else.) Take your chances in the stock market....so far it's been a great bet for some folks. This year may be a good time to "bet" on real estate....if it's a game you want. For most people, it's a home: shelter in a neighborhood and community they want to be a part of and to which they want to contribute.
Does MLS show the final sales price for these properties, John?
C'mon, Aileen, you should know better. Even my grand daughter knows about inflation.
Pat, yes I'd say part of the appreciation was a remodel -- the interior is not 20 years old for sure.
The MLS usually lists both the list price and sales price. The list price isn't used for comps, as it isn't always even close to the sales price, particularly with properties which are priced low to encourage competition.
In this case the sales price was withheld from the MLS at the request of the purchaser, so real estate companies like Redfin don't have the information on a direct feed. The property was listed at $5.2mm and then reduced to $4.295mm. County records shows a sales price of $3,930mm.
As for the low increase in value, the previous sale was at $1,450mm in 1991. That seems like a fairly substantial increase to me!