Sunday, January 06, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies and Realtor "Statistics"

I went to an open house in my neighborhood today, just to check it out. While I was there the realtor made the comment that "any home purchased in OC has appreciated over a five period." I'm not going to call the guy out by name, though I am tempted to, but I am going to call bullshit on this oft-cited "statistic."

Have a look at the chart above. It shows the Case-Shiller index for LA/OC for the period Jan 1990 to Dec 1999. The line in this chart shows the relative price for homes in the area on a monthly basis. Does it look like a house purchased any time in 1990 had regained it's value 60 months later? How about 1991? or 1992? No, no and no. In fact, it's not until roughly the Spring time frame of 1993 that they typical home purchased would any appreciation over a five-year period.

Put another way, for roughly 39 months starting in Jan '00, the typical home did not seen any appreciation over a five year period. In fact, for the poor bastards who bought in Jan '00, had to wait 10 years for the market to just break even. Seems like our Realtor's claim collapses under the weight of data/facts.

What's even more important, loyal Reader, is that the aforementioned period was at the beginning of that downturn and maps EXACTLY where we are with today's downturn. If history is any guide, I submit to you that it is more downside risk in buying a home today than any time in since 1990, or the last 18 years. (Will have to write more about this later.)

Another Realtor myth laid to rest, another self-inflected head wound to Realtor credibility.

Viva los Osos!

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