Mostly I find that he has a 'sophisticated' way of presenting stats to lead readers to some pre-determined conclusion, with some examples below.
Days on Market.
First let's look at some history from Andrew Kyle
May 2006 Bottomed at 14
Dec 2006 Peaked at 43
April 2007 Bottomed at 24
Dec 2007 Peaked at 51
See a pattern? As this number fell from its December high following the seasonal pattern of the last few years Bob Truman posted the following in What's New:
With 4690 single family homes on the market, we have more than double the inventory compared to Feb 2007, yet prices continue to rise and the time required to sell a house has gone down dramatically. Over the past week, it took an average of 37 days for a home to sell. In January, the average was 50.
DOM so far in May have increased to 51 for condos and to 42 for SFH from Mike's Stats. There is has been no mention of any increase of the DOM or of the seasonal pattern.
Earlier posts on this subject here and here.
When the consensus finally arrived that Calgary was in a buyer's market (when it was written in Calgary Herald) Bob claimed to have been saying this all along. A look at his previous postings shows that he continually referred to a "balanced" market in step with the CREB. link.
Million Dollar Sales.
So far this year Bob has given the impression that million dollar sales are down. This is important because when prices were falling from their July 2007 peak there was extra emphasis on the impact reduced sales over $1million on the average price.
From What's New:
This is very interesting: There was lots of concern on my blog last month that sales of homes over $1 million were distorting the average price. When you delete the million dollar sales from the mix, average prices this month are the same as July. See Under $1 million stats.
The Calgary housing market, while down slightly, is weathering this so-called global financial crisis very well. I have been expecting a small decrease in prices for the past three months, and this is the catalyst that finally set it in motion. Depending on how you read the stats, prices have changed very little from July. It's just that there are fewer million dollar homes selling.
While average prices are down considerably, the SFH median price is only $400 below July at $434,600. The condo median price is $3100 over the July number. When you delete million dollar sales, the SFH average price is only $2,000 under July.
Despite sensational headlines that make it appear the sky is falling, the fact is SFH average prices remain unchanged from July when you take million dollar homes out of the equation. See Under $1 million. Sales of million dollar homes are very slow this month, with only 6 firm sales in the books.
Fast forward to 2008:
Sales of single family million dollar homes are going to be down this month compared to 2007. So far, there have been 21 sales this year. For the entire month in 2007, there were 34 sales.
Since total number of sales dropped considerably in 2008 I am going to compare the % +$million homes that sold each month (SFH% / Condo%) from CREB monthly stats. This will be a better indicator of how these sales skew the average price. In January he was indeed correct but it was fairly close.
Jan 2008: 2.12% / 0.22%
Jan 2007: 2.27% / 0.27%
Sales of high-end homes in Feb were down compared to last year. There were 27 sales for $1 million or more compared to 32 last year.
In fact there was a higher percentage of million dollar sales in February.
Feb 2008: 2.00% / 0.36%
Feb 2007: 1.50% / 0.34%
Sales of million dollar homes will be down dramatically this month compared to last year. 38 sales so far in March 2008 compared to a total of 61 in March 2007.
Instead of being down dramatically sales of $million homes increased slighly as a propotion of total sales,
March 2008: 2.75%/0.35%
March 2007: 2.69% / 0.00%
Total sales of million dollar homes is down this year. To April 14, there have been 110 sales. Last year, there were 146 sales.
Sales of $million homes doubled in April and were up year to date.
April 2008: 3.08% / 0.34%
April 2007: 1.50% / 0.36%
April 2008 YTD: 2.53% / 0.32%
April 2007 YTD: 1.99% / 0.23%
I conclude that sales of million dollar homes are having a greater impact on avaegr price this year so far than last.
See previous posts: here and here
He also started tracking sales below 425K as in the "low-end" range. I find it insulting to refer to sales below this amount in this way and it shows how out of touch REALTORS have become regarding the value of money. $425,000 is a lot.
Apr 13Here are the month end results for sales in April:
Last year, sales of SFH dropped from March to April. This year, April sales are 7% ahead of March sales. Condo sales are 24% ahead of March. Condo prices are on the upswing this month, and looking at SFH pending sales(avg price is $500,243)SFH prices will be heading that direction soon as well.
SFH sales 1363 -34.7% YOY / -3.9% MOM
condo sales 581 -30.8% YOY / +2.8% MOM
The intended impression of the post was to indicate a non-seasonal sales surge while what happened in reality is that sales were flat for the month and down considerably from 2007. Prices were basically flat except the condo median fell $3000. See post here.