According to Brian Milner of the Globe & Mail Sunday Feb 5th, “If there were an award for the sector of the economy that produces the biggest volume of statistics week in and week out, housing would certainly be a top contender. Some of the data can prove useful for discerning or affirming trends. Other numbers add little clarity. And still others just muddy the waters.”
Here’s a headline example for you:
RBC ECONOMICS RESEARCH – DAILY ECONOMIC UPDATE – February 8, 2012
“Canadian housing starts decline by less than expected in January.” Now is that positive or negaitive? I think they want you to read on to find out.
We have just received all the numbers for January and it always amazes me how they can always be manipulated to make a point. Housing starts may be up, maybe average price for condos slips, it can be overwhelming. However I feel your real estate professional, who is always aware of the statistics and takes the figures into account, also can advise you with a “gut feeling” about the market. You know how busy your phone has been, you get a vibe from other Realtors in the office, you can’t fail to notice all the SOLD or PRICE REDUCED signs that crop up. Real Estate can be a 24/7, highly competitive occupation and successful Realtors are constantly aware of the market, it is all around them and part of their lives.
So the question remains, is it an art or a science? I believe it is a well practised blend of both. Realtors will always research their advice, check the numbers and do their due diligence; then deliver their opinion with a healthy dose of intuition developed from their experience. So don’t feel overwhelmed by the headlines, they can be over complicated and misleading.
As I finish writing this article this morning it seems Statistics Canada have released a barrage of data from the Census and the conclusion is that people are moving West and Kelowna is the fastest growing area in BC, and the 4th highest in Canada...so I had better get to work!