Monday, May 17, 2010

Radar Watching

Over the last two years now that I have been tracking regional home prices using the data supplied by Radar Logic, I have come to recognize the superiority of this data over other competitive home price series.

Radar Logic provides daily data series for 25 metro housing markets (as well as a host of NYC series) that seek to track the price per square foot of all residential real estate (single family, condo, coop).

The data is superior to other home price data (S&P/Case-Shiller, FHFA, NAR median, etc.) because of its timeliness (daily), its quality (unique price per square foot methodology) and for the fact that each data series goes completely unadjusted.

In this way you get a real-time sense of the precise price movement for a particular metro market without the distortions that are commonly introduced by the mix of sales (median) or data smoothing techniques (S&P/Case-Shiller, FHFA).

Until last week Radar Logic had offered all its metro data series for free allowing industry professionals (and others) to download the full dataset daily.

Now though, the full dataset will be available on a subscription basis while the 25-MSA Composite series will remain free and published daily.

While I will surely miss perusing the metros every morning, Radar Logic goes to great expense to formulate their data and certainly deserves compensation for their efforts.

On that note, I would strongly urge any real estate or finance industry professional (or anyone else for that matter) to compare the quality of the Radar Logic data to other vendors and consider subscribing.

As for the latest trends, it’s important to note that the 25-MSA Composite is showing some of the first (albeit tepid) year-over-year increases in over two years.

This price movement has been, of course, strongly influenced by the tremendous government subsidy of housing so we will need to see how this series trends out over the remainder of 2010 in order to determine the true price movement.