The Illinois Association of Realtors previously claimed that the median price of condominiums sold in Chicago this May rose 10.3 percent; now with news that the median prices actually fell 23 percent year-over-year, the accuracy of data dating back to February 2008 is being reviewed per the request of Chicago Association of Realtors, said the Chicago Tribune, who broke the news today after acting on a tip.
“In its official May sales report that has now been discredited, the trade group said last month that the median price of an existing condo sold in Chicago in May was $299,000, compared with $271,150 recorded in May 2010. In fact, the median price was $243,000, compared to a year-ago price of $265,000, according to data from Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, the multiple listing service for the Chicago area,” said the article.
The group admitted the data was flawed, and they now believe that reports regarding both condos and single-family homes are incorrect for anywhere from the beginning of the year, to more than three years.
“It’s not just May,” said Mary Schaefer, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Association of Realtors to the Chicago Tribune. “We’re trying to figure out where the bug occurred. We should have caught it. We pride ourselves on having accurate data. We want to make sure there is 100 percent clean data.”
Schaefer does not believe that the flawed numbers were intentional, but rather a technical error involving “improper coding of sales data.” As far back as the errors date, revised data is expected to be compiled and released.
“Whatever they’re putting out should be correct,” said Eric Rojas, a Prudential Rubloff real estate agent in Chicago to the Chicago Tribune. “There’s no doubt about it. I know that people watch the news and read the papers and they’re confused by the data. When we talk to buyers and sellers, they really don’t know what’s going on.”
Not only do incorrect numbers impact local perceptions of the market, but they also feed from national housing statistics-statistics which have been questioned previously as to their accuracy.
Midwest Real Estate Data CEO, Russ Bergeron, says he is “completely confident” of the numbers given to the Illinois Association of Realtors and the two are now collaborating in order to pinpoint the discrepancy.
The National Association of Realtors was recently accused of “overestimating the volume of existing home sales since 2007.”
Reportedly, NAR will be releasing revised national home sales numbers dating back to 2008 at minimum. These altered statistics are expected to be released in August at the earliest.