Questionable Housing Statistics Dating Back to 2008 Under Review

by Chicago Agent

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.

Read More Related to This Post


  • L Lee says:

    Need to go back farther to 2005 – sales dropped significantly in May 2005 and never got back up. Check NAR, IAR AND CAR. You will be amazed.

  • Rob W says:

    Amazing! Is anyone surprised that the senior cheerleader for Realtors somehow “got their numbers wrong”?

    I was regularly criticized as being out of touch when I supplied figures contrary to figures reported by local media. Now I am vindicated.

    NAR and IAR need to publish a complete side-by-side listing of all releases comparing incorrect and correct figures. Then the public will actually understand what has been happening.

    Do we really pay our dues to employ morons? Not really, they knew exactly what they were doing.

  • Iver Johnson says:

    IAR put out a propaganda piece based on their and NAR’s “data” back in 2006 – 2007, arguing very persuasively that there was no “bubble”, just a minor pause. NAR’s Lereah (sp?) has admitted he cooked the books, and any one who thinks the NAR bigwigs didn’t know about it is either delusional or stupid. That piece was at its core an affirmative effort to deceive both members and the public.

    Had they done their job properly and given us facts and good opinions back in 2006 – 2007, we would all be a lot better off.

    Rob W has it exactly right. It is long past time to stop giving our dues to morons.

    You can’t believe a thing that NAR or IAR says: They make all of us look duplicitous con artists in the public eye. Not good at all.

    Long past time for accountability from IAR and NAR. Maybe this will start that long overdue process.

  • As someone who regularly works with the MRED data, I am very curious to see how they could have possibly been this far off. In my estimate they would have had to essentially overlook over 200 listings closed in May at less than median price to move the needle this much.

    If someone anyone finds a technical explanation for what went wrong here, please let me know.

  • opinionator says:

    Most experienced, competent Realtors are honest counselors to our customers and clients, giving them the facts and (when asked) reasoned opinion to help them to decision. NAR and now IAR roll our credibility under the bus with phony platitudes about ownership. Just like each piece of property is unique, so are the circumstances for each buyer/seller. The public’s not fooled by these zircon stats and neither are we. Guess we need somebody to lobby for us in Springfield and DC, but as far as interfacing with the public, stop!

Join the conversation

New Subscribe

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.