Here's what the Victoria Real Estate Board has to say about property values in the Capital in 2010:
...overall average prices were stable and showed modest increases across major property types. The overall average price for single family homes increased by nearly 8.5 per cent; the average price for condominiums rose over four per cent and the average price for townhomes rose over three per cent.and:
The value of all property transactions through the Victoria Real Estate Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system also declined by 14 per cent...Emphasis mine. So prices are up, in some cases only slightly, and the total value of homes traded dropped, largely because sales volumes were down from the previous year. Fair enough.
Here's what the BC Real Estate Association has to say about property values in the Capital in 2010 (H/T A Simple Man). Dollar volume dropped -14.7%. So we've got harmony between the organizations here. No problem.
Until you look at the harmonized property values average prices. VREB breaks them out into the three most common property types as noted above. BCREA on the other hand lumps the lot together. And they report a drop in the average price of the lumped group of almost 5%.
How is this possible when the VREB is reporting price gains for all types of properties across the board? If you do the quick math, even dumbing it down to single digits, you get 8 + 4 + 3 = 15/3 = 5 which when I last checked was a positive number. But the BCREA average price reporting is 10% less than that.
Let me be clear: I'm not saying that any of these statistics are incorrect (although they could be), nor am I saying that either of these two organizations are purposely misleading the public. But I am saying that for whatever reason, and I believe the reasoning is carefully considered laziness, er, workplace efficiency, that real estate organizations that represent the REALTORS® have very little interest in transparency when it comes to their market data. I'm beginning to think there's not much point in paying attention to any of these numbers anymore. Which is likely what they want us to do.
I'm not the only one questioning board market data these days either: here's someone hitting the Okanagan board pretty hard too. And someone else has some questions for the Calgary board as well.