What was it that Mark Twain said about statistics? Well, numbers can certainly be a nice way to sum up a lot of information quickly but it is difficult to know when you can trust them and how to apply them to real world scenarios. This is particularly true in real estate. Consider these:
- According to realtor.com, the web site for the National Association of Realtors, the average number of days a house is currently sitting on the market in Denver, CO is 25. In Indianapolis, that number is well more than double.
- Six of the ten cities in the country that have seen the greatest price increases from 2013 to 2014 are in California or Nevada and, you guessed it, none of them are in Indiana.
- National inventory was up 10% in March 2014 compared to March 2013 but yet realtors in Indiana can’t get over how low our inventory has been so far this year.
What should a potential buyer or seller in a local marketplace make of national statistics like these? Do the really matter? The best course of action is to pay attention to this type of information while recognizing that real estate is a very local marketplace. More local, in fact, than you might realize:
- The number of days the house three doors down has been on the market should always matter more to your thought process than a hot market in Denver, CO.
- Price increases of homes in southern California may be decent indicators for your 401k’s performance over the next two years but they have very little to do with your ability to find a good deal on real estate in Indianapolis.
- The market activity in your neighborhood, town and metropolitan area will have some correlation with the national market over long periods of time but it is not uncommon for a local marketplace to act exactly counter to the national marketplace because there are so many factors at play.
While national housing statistics will always be at your fingertips and there are good reasons to keep up on them, talking to a local realtor is the ideal way to get the most relevant information for your buying and selling decisions. We always look forward to sharing news about the industry that matters so much to our clients!