Sunday, March 28, 2010

California Real Estate News

By the numbers ... California Real Estate:

The California Building Industry Association reports that new home sales in California were down 12% in January when compared to the same month in 2009.

Read more here: Press Release - California Building Industry Association

The California Association of Realtors reports that median home prices increased 14.1% in February when compared to the same month in 2009. However, home sales decreased 11.7% when compared in February year-over-year.

Read more here: Press Release - California Association of Realtors

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Zillow's "Zestimate" Studied

The Winter 2010 edition of "The Appraisal Journal" contains an Abstract titled "Zillow's Estimates of Single-Family Housing Values", comparing's Zestimate of the value of single family homes with the actual sale price of homes sold in Arlington, Texas covering data from 2006. The results are that on average, the Zillow estimate overvalued the studied properties by 10% when compared to the sale price.

There's sure to be a lot of interest in the study.

Read the Appraisal Institute Press Release:
Zillow Values No More Accurate Than Homeowners' Estimates

Read Zillow's explanation: What is a Zestimate?

In our opinion, valuing a property is so much more than just how many bedrooms it has, number of baths, square footage of the house, lot size, updates, etc. While as a Realtor we call it an "estimate" (because we are not licensed appraisers, and therefore, it is not an "appraisal" of value), we know that there is a certain amount of subjective value, intuitive value and value based on external factors that provide us with conclusion of our value estimate.