Way back in the dark ages, when I was in graduate school getting a master’s in communication, the subject of opinion research so interested me that I developed and conducted a survey for my master’s project.
The result of that intense effort has been my enduring interest and unmitigated skepticism about polls and other studies that are disseminated by the news media.
Although the news media have grown more sophisticated, especially about political polls, I find myself to be continually astonished by how much evidently shoddy research finds validation on the Internet, in newspapers and magazines, and on radio and television.
Regular readers no doubt recall my recurring rants about research on the nation’s housing market, none of which is entirely — or, for that matter — even mostly accurate. Case-Shiller is my favorite target, a great example being in Sunday’s New York Times, when Shiller cited his research based on 407 and 296 respondents in different years as if they represented a national sample of home buyers. Impossible!
For that matter, how could 407 and 296 responses each reflect national sentiment? If 296 is sufficient, why poll 407? Conversely– you get the idea.
If only Shiller were alone. But none of the others — not Trulia, not Zillow, not RealtyTrac, not CoreLogic, not Radar logic, not the federal government, not one — reveals the true story.
Findings may be out of date, Continue reading
When I accompany a buyer to see a property or overhear others at an open house, I know I can count on the same two questions being asked.
First, what’s the square footage?
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, Continue reading
Weakness emerges in Manhattan market during first quarter
Reports issued today showed price declines as much as 23 percent from the same time last year, according to the New York Times.
One of the reports, prepared by the Miller Samuel appraisal firm, had the median sale price down by 9.9 percent to $782,071. According to that document, a new index of sales that have yet to close recorded a 7.1 percent increase over the same time last year, suggesting an upswing in the current quarter.
Explanations for the dip included the artificial bump caused last year by the federal homebuyer tax credit and a boost this year in the sales of co-ops, which are generally less expensive than condos, as the result of a crimp in condo inventory.
As Noah Rosenblatt, a blogger, broker and data provider, points out on UrbanDigs.com, the figures on which the reports are based are flawed because of the way they are gathered.
Says he: “. . . you MUST understand that you are seeing an incomplete report with a ton of Q1 sales not yet publicly released! Especially March, whose sales will continue roll in over the course of the next 4-8 weeks. . .”
Price of studios suggests it’s a good time to buy one
The studio market has gone soft again–just as it did in the last recession, says the New York Times.
Prices have dipped to 2005 levels, making it possible to find studios in Manhattan in the $200,000s–lots of them. And they don’t all face a brick wall or involve a lengthy hike to the subway.
The average price for studios dropped to $404,326 in 2010 from a high of $500,479 in 2008.
A recent search of Manhattan listings on the Times real estate site and on Streeteasy.com found close to 200 studios available for $300,000 or less. An article about studios in The Times in 2009, before the market had bottomed out, found only a handful of studios in that price range.
The Times provides Continue reading
Here’s your chance to catch up with news included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you. To read about The Big Apple, check out the other of today’s posts and look for Out and About early next week.