Chicago Real Estate Numbers Have Been Off

July 12, 2011

Don’t believe everything you read.

Apparently, Chicago real estate data reported by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) has been wrong.

Our state’s Realtors’ group admitted on Monday to inaccurately reporting the median price and sales volume reports of single-family homes and condominiums sold in Chicago.

Picture of a sign that reads Condos for Sale on a building in ChicagoThe IAR claims a technical error overestimated the May median price of Chicago condos: The report said the median price of a condo sold in Chicago in May 2011 was $299,000, compared to the $271,150 median price in May 2010.

In reality, this May’s median price was $243,000 compared to last year’s price of $265,000.

So, instead of the year-over-year median price increasing 10 percent as reported, it actually fell 7.8 percent.

The problem is that this technical error may not have been limited to May and may have been committed over the last three years.

The realty group says the mistakes are isolated to the city of Chicago only.

“The Illinois Association of REALTORS® has been reporting accurate home sales and median price data since 1990 both on a statewide basis and for the nine-county Chicagoland PMSA region (Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties),” the group said in a statement.

“The error is isolated only to the city of Chicago data and the Illinois Association of REALTORS® continues to investigate this matter with our local board and MLS partners to provide accuracy in the data reported for the city of Chicago.”

The group will now investigate its city housing numbers back to February 2008, when the Illinois Association of Realtors began reporting city of Chicago home sales data in partnership with the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.

The National Association of REALTORS® just went through a similar situation, in which experts questioned whether the nationwide trade group has been overestimating the volume of existing home sales since 2007.

That group said it will soon release revised national home sales data dating back at least three years.

Expect our state group to do the same.

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