Monday, January 30, 2006

Open Access to Data

This story is running like wild fire all over the blogosphere, and rightfully so; it's outrageous. Apparently, after years of sharing their real estate data during the boom, the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors is refusing to share their data now (4th paragraph from the top of the article). Gee, I wonder why? Might it have something to do with a collapsing real estate market in a locale that is also claimed to be immune to a market bust? I guess we won't know until later, when the data is stale.

I know from my own personal experience how hard it is to get good real estate data...the kind of data that would result in some very interesting and informative charts. This data is jealously guarded by the real estate industry; if you control the information, then you can control the market. I've asked for such data time and time again from Marin realtors and have been denied. Most of the time I just want to recalculate the officially reported statistics to see if they have been fudged or not. Sometimes I want to get insight into the market that is otherwise difficult to get.

I strongly encourage you to write the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and share your thoughts with them.

9 Comments:

Anonymous caddis said...

When will it offically be a burst? At what point does the entire industry recognize a pop?

Jan 30, 2006, 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Marinite said...

My crystal ball says "access denied" (it's running Windows).

Jan 30, 2006, 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger sf jack said...

Somewhat related -

I noticed the SF MLS listings went to some crazy "district" system four or five months ago. No more finding listings by zipcode.

The "districts" seem to be an "easier" way to hide a changing market (either going up or down).

And, as well, some of the smarmy realtors in my neighborhood are no longer "showing off" the price changes and volumes in our local neighborhood rag.

They still advertise though, in big half page ads. There's a half million realtors in California (or approximately 1 in 50 adults or so) - which reminds me of something!

I read an SF Examiner column on real estate at the gym recently (couldn't find it online) and the author was basically telling newbies to stay away and how difficult the business is - and that before "jumping in", one should "go talk to" the mortgage people.

That last part was interesting. Would mortgage co's try to hire them first? Or tell them how slow things are and scare them into looking at some other field to glom onto?

Jan 30, 2006, 11:58:00 AM  
Anonymous caddis said...

Has anyone noticed the ads on the radio for the homebuilders having a "one day discount?" I saw somewhere ( I think on here ) that they were going to start offering three day discounts, then month etc...

Jan 30, 2006, 12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Peter P said...

When will it offically be a burst? At what point does the entire industry recognize a pop?

Someone suggested 06/06/06

Jan 30, 2006, 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger marin_explorer said...

I suspect they're practicing damage control, but long can this data be hidden? Seems to me the county assessor will have this data soon enough.
In a way, the SBAR actions already reveal something's going on. If/when the MLS data becomes "open source", they won't have this advantage.

Jan 30, 2006, 1:57:00 PM  
Blogger john_law_the_II said...

(I strongly encourage you to write the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and share your thoughts with them)

yeah baby!

Jan 30, 2006, 8:26:00 PM  
Anonymous caddis said...

The data's there to find. You have to find it. SBAR is just coveting the information.

Jan 30, 2006, 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger Doug Kunst said...

That is where Craigslist and googlebase will come it. See my live Sausalito Cam: http://www.rntl.net/sausalitocam.htm

Jan 31, 2006, 1:04:00 PM  

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