This week I want to talk about how data informs my gut sense. What does it mean when I talk about different types of ‘data’ in my posts? A hugely reliable source of my data comes from The Cromford Report. The Cromford Report takes data directly from the Multi-Listing Service, which is the most accurate report of sales in Arizona. In this next graphic, you’ll see what the Cromford Index does. Two things you need to know about this chart on Phoenix for the last 30 days: Above 100 and below 100.
Look at the two gauges on the left and right sides. Anything over 100 is a seller’s market. If the arrow is in the green, it’s good for sellers; red, it’s good for buyers. As you can see from the 30-day chart at the bottom of the graphic, the supply is really flat right now. That’s because we’re not getting a new supply of homes into the available inventory, which means it’s a seller market. Between buyers (the Supply Index gauge on the left) and sellers (Demand Index gauge on the right) you’ll see demand is pretty flat (in the yellow zone). In an ideal world, buyers and sellers are equal in getting what they want.
This chart below is for Phoenix, for the last couple years.
You can see here, in the pink, that it became better for sellers in 2011. It’s at over 100, so it’s better for sellers. Since 2011, it’s been increasingly better for sellers, there was a little drop off at Christmas 2012, but then it’s popping up again. The long-term Crawford Index tells us that things have been getting better for sellers for a while –for much longer than the media was reporting.
Can I get any worthwhile information on just a month worth of data, or must I have a year’s worth of data to be able to offer any real value?
With the Crawford stuff, you have to look at the micro and the macro, balance them out, and end up with the gut feeling (many authors on decision making whom I’ve read say that the gut reaction is the more accurate than we might think). You have to be in the business and see lots of data to get that gut sense.
Check this out, we can look at zip codes also in The Cromford Index. Isn’t that cool? This is a micro-micro example of using data. This data shown in the chart below is for $100,000 to $250,000 on Phoenix zip codes for 85003, 85004, 85005, 85012, 85013, 85015. This is SFR in Maricopa county. It’s a 6-months moving sales, and it’s really janky because there aren’t that many homes in that price range. It’s a pretty small area for home prices.
I have used this kind of data in the past (3/26/10 – “Data is right. Media is wrong” and 8/25/09 – “Can I Say I Told You So?” to make my cases about I saw (based on the data) and felt (based on my gut instincts) was going to occur.
Was I right just because of the data?
Not at all. I took the data and used it to get the gut instinct. You’ve seen me put up images of supply, inventory, and demand, on this posts and in the past, and you’ll see them in posts to come, but what I’ve found is you use the macro and the micro data, but in the end you have to go with your gut.
Next week, we’re going to talk about data as it relates to up and coming areas. I can tell you now what my gut instincts tells me:
The micro data shows price increases, but I also know that people are getting priced out of historic neighborhoods, so they’re going next door. I know those neighborhoods. And not just from an aesthetic perspective, but from gut instinct.
Give me a call, buy or sell. Go with your gut.