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Home Price Numbers

May 07, 1989

David Myers' article (Why Home Price Numbers Don't Add Up" April 23) was a disservice to those who collect and interpret real estate data, as well as to the public, which relies on this information to make a more informed sale or purchase.

The implication that home sales and price data provided by the California Assn. of Realtors (CAR) is less accurate than other sources because our numbers do not include all the home transactions is not an accurate assessment.

In attempting to analyze trends of any type, it is not necessary to survey an entire population. To suggest that surveys that claim to do so are more accurate, or that the size of the survey sample is inadequate for proper statistical analysis, is simply incorrect.

The further suggestion by unnamed "experts" that less-than-all-inclusive numbers may be causing business and government leaders to make faulty decisions is patently absurd.

Additionally, figures which combine both new and existing detached home and condominium sales are of limited value to the public. The buyer and seller of an existing home is less concerned with the performance of the entire market than with that particular segment of the market. This specific type of information is what CAR seeks to provide to the consumer.

CAR does not suggest that its figures are the only ones of value. Your readers need to be aware that different statistics measure different segments of the market and use widely different research methodologies. CAR has always clearly stated that our numbers track resale detached homes and condominiums only.


Los Angeles

Appleton-Young is director of research and economics of the California Assn. of Realtors.

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