The National Association of Realtors today announced that their statistics on home sales has been inaccurate and will release revised numbers on December 21. (see news article here).
The real problem with real estate statistics is that even though real estate is local, people try to combine all these different statistics together and draw conclusions based on statewide or nationwide statistics.
As mentioned in the article, MLSs are expanding. There used to be MLSs in each local area, but now there are regional MLSs (which are multiple local MLSs under a single umbrella). The benefits for doing this is that instead of all these local MLS databases of homes, there is one database that takes the listings of multiple MLSs, allows real estate agents to sell a bigger inventory of homes. Here on the Central Coast, we have a Regional MLS, the Central Coast Regional MLS (CCRMLS). This includes 7 local MLSs (Paso Robles, Atascadero, Scenic Coast (North County), SLO, Pismo Coast (South County), Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez). While each local MLS runs independently and has their own set of rules, there is one database of Listings that all agents on the Central Coast accesses.
But it doesn’t stop at a Regional MLS. Very soon, agents that are members of the Scenic Coast MLS will join a California statewide MLS. The Statewide MLS so far includes MLSs from Southern California, the valley, and some in Northern California. Now listings from Scenic Coast will reside in both the CCRMLS database AND the statewide California MLS database. Patterson Realty is a member of the Scenic Coast MLS which means that Patterson listings will get more exposure through the statewide MLS than listings from any of the other 6 local MLSs (SLO, Paso, Atascadero, Pismo Coast, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez). Right now, Scenic Coast is the only Central Coast MLS that is becoming a member of the statewide MLS. If I was selling a home in the next year, I’d list with a Brokerage that was a member of the Scenic Coast MLS, as Patterson Realty is, to gain this added exposure for my home.
But for real estate statistics, it only makes sense to look at the local level, down to the city. What is happening in Santa Maria is different than what is happening in Paso Robles. The city of San Luis Obispo’s stats and trends are also different than what is happening in Arroyo Grande, Cayucos, etc.
This is the reason why I developed the statstics dashboards that not only go down to the city level, but report on property types and foreclosures vs. non-foreclosures.