Dodgy stats? We don’t go for that

Do you feel duped and hoodwinked by some of the more sensationalist property market news?

Do you think some of the so-called ‘property experts’ don’t tell the whole truth?

It’s all too easy to be taken in by the persuasive, confident reports that claim to have the last word on the ‘top growth suburbs’ and ‘the highest rental yields’. 

But if we examine the reality behind the headlines we tend to see a different picture. 

Statistics can be interpreted in a number of ways, and all too often misinterpreted or even wilfully twisted and misrepresented.

It is now easier than ever to access a bombardment of information about capital growth within states and across suburbs, but this increased availability and speed of data also brings with it new challenges – not least in terms of how to make sense of this tidal wave of information.

We need to review the available data with a critical eye. 

We should not allow emotion to cloud our logic. 

At DDP, we have dedicated staff with razor-sharp analytical skills who are responsible for ensuring they provide our clients with objective, holistic, thorough and crystal-clear analysis of property statistics. 

We always take a ‘bigger picture’ approach because we understand that no investor ever got rich by putting all their trust in one single source of information. We won’t fob you off with a ‘ball park figure’, and we don’t draw any hard-and-fast conclusions from median price data, for example.

Median price anomalies – which crop up frequently when reviewing property statistics – do not represent ‘capital growth’ and can be very misleading.

And while medians can give you a ‘general gist’ and provide a reasonably reliable indicator of what the market is doing and where it’s going, they are not very useful for measuring real house price growth rates.

This is because medians are affected by the disparity of the housing market both between and within states, plus a range of other factors, such as: 

 

  1. While first time buyers and downsizers tend to buy properties at the lower end of the price bracket, therefore pushing the median down, upgraders are more likely to buy homes at the higher end of the price bracket, which pushes prices up.
  2. If smaller and lower-priced homes are built over time, the median will fall; if larger or more luxurious homes are built over time, the median is likely to rise. This does not mean house prices have necessarily appreciated – just the type of houses being built and sold has changed in response to demand.
  3. If homes are renovated or extended, this can push the median up when capital growth rates have actually remained unchanged.
  4. Sometimes the median shifts upwards because of heavy developer activity.