Realtors Get 3 Years Of Meaningless Home Price Data Wrong

Yeah, the numbers they got wrong don't really mean anything anyway so you really don't need to read this post.

What I'm talking about is the median home sales prices that the Illinois Association of Realtors religiously (does this mean they are going to hell now?) reports on. As I've pointed out before median prices don't really mean a damn thing anyway so I don't pay attention to them. It's like talking about the median price of meat when people are shifting from steak to hamburger. It's totally driven by the mix of what is sold.

So what was the mistake? Well, last month IAR reported that May median condo prices in Chicago rose by 10.3% but in fact they dropped by 23% or 10.4% or 7.8% or 7.4% depending upon who you listen to. In other words, there is still no agreement on what really happened. That 7.4% number is my own and it's not hard to derive. You just pull the data from this service that aggregates MLS data for realtors. And that 23% is no longer anywhere to be found. It must have appeared in an earlier version of the story that went out.

According to the Chicago Tribune story on the home price misstatement the problem is not just limited to May, it goes back 39 months.

Also of interest is the fact that this problem was actually discussed on Cribchatter back on June 21 when the last release came out. One of the contributors on that site suggested today that maybe that's where the Tribune got the story.

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