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Editorial – Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics

Terry RyderThe adage about “lies, damned lies and statistics” is amply demonstrated by price data.

Mainstream media tends to report price statistics as gospel, especially those from CoreLogic, but consumers need to understand that ALL real estate data is “rubbery figures”.

The price data published on 1 June by CoreLogic provides a different result to that published by SQM Research on the same day. Both purport to describe the movement in prices in May – but while CoreLogic records a 0.1% decrease nationally, SQM reports a 1.6% rise. CoreLogic says Sydney house prices fell 1.1% but SQM says there was no change in May. CoreLogic says Canberra house prices fell 0.4% in May but SQM says they rose 2.1%.

This, sadly, is the norm in the housing market. If you do an Internet search on the median house price for any suburb in Australia, you will get a result from six or seven different sources – and they will all be different figures.

I searched the median price for Epping VIC and found different results from six different sources, ranging from $628,000 to $737,000.


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