REIV Fudges Sales Figures

Neil Jenman - Don't Sign AnythingOPINION
by Neil Jenman
Consumer Advocate

More mass misleading and manipulation of Victorians.

An article from the Jenman website.

The Real Estate Institute of Victoria continues to lie about auction results.

The REIV claims Melbourne recorded a clearance rate on Saturday of more than 70 percent, showing the market was “unfazed by the interest rate rise”.

As anyone who has dealt with the real estate industry knows, figures don’t lie except when liars figure.

According to figures from the most authoritative independent source, Australian Property Monitors (APM), Melbourne’s clearance rate on Saturday was 57%.

That’s a long way short of 70 percent. It’s below the clearance rate of the weekend before, which was 59 percent. And it’s well below the average clearance rates in February and March.

The REIV also published a snap poll of members which claimed that 70 percent reported no impact from the interest rate rise on auction attendances, open houses or sales generally. The REIV’s chief spin doctor, Enzo Raimondo, said: “The market is still steady and buoyant.”

As a result of the REIV’s public pronouncements, newspapers came up with market commentary like this: “Home buyers have brushed aside the latest interest rate rise with the auction clearance rate yesterday more than 70 percent, the average over the past few months. Property sources said consumers were unfazed.”

Another newspaper reported: “Buyers snapped up houses at auctions around Melbourne yesterday, thumbing their noses at this week’s interest rate rise … the market was strong across the board.”

But the average clearance rate has not been 70 percent over the past few months. APM data shows that the average clearance rate was 57 percent in November, 56 percent in December, 40 percent in January, 64 percent in February and 62 percent in March. And, according to APM, Melbourne’s clearance rate is recent weeks have been 55, 52, 56, 59 and 57 percent.

It’s never been anywhere near 70% and it’s been significantly lower in April/May than in February and March.

The reason for the difference between the two sets of data is this: APM is an independent organisation with no vested interest in fudging the figures and talking up the market. This is why the REIV has worked so hard lately to deny APM access to sales information. The REIV wants a monopoly to mislead and manipulate by constantly publishing fictitious sales figures.

The key to understanding the residential property market in Melbourne is this: don’t believe anything the REIV says.

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