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REIQ Journal : September 2008
e 15 “The difference in investor sentiment in the past few months has been extraordinary,” Mr Donnelly said. “The first thing many investors approaching us ask now is ‘will the market implode?’ Many are clearly having difficulty understanding all the interpretations on where prices are heading. In addition to a wide variety of computer-generated analyses and other forecasting models, Mr Donnelly said average and median property price figures were often misread and misunderstood, creating a broad impression that prices were falling dramatically. “While many parts of the market are flat and in decline right now, a combination of solid research and a medium to long term outlook will easily lead buyers to countless markets and sub-markets experiencing or close to experiencing good capital growth,” he said. The REIQ produces quarterly median sale prices which are published widely in state-wide media. Staff from REIQ accredited agencies can also access these figures for their local area. And according to REIQ research analyst Yvette Burton, informed buyers and sellers not only know that good real estate decisions are based on solid research, they look to data for some guidance. “These days, there’s a huge variety of statistics available to measure and predict the market’s performance. But with such an abundance of information and variations in the figures available, investors can be left wondering what’s relevant, what’s reliable, and what the numbers are really saying,” Mrs Burton said. Queensland sales In Queensland, all property transactions are processed by the Queensland Government’s Department of Natural Resources and Water (NRW). Details of these transactions are provided to data suppliers, such as RP Data, Australian Business Research and Property Data Solutions (PDS), on an ongoing basis but there can be a delay of up to three months before the information is available. This delay is due to varying settlement periods, which in Queensland can be anything from 30 to 90 days. NRW will only register a sales transaction in their Queensland Valuation and Sales System (QVAS) once the property has settled. Due to this sizable variation in the length of settlement periods, the REIQ compiles data based on the contract date of a sale, rather than the settlement date. The contract date is thought to more accurately reflect the overall state of the market at a given point in time. The most commonly reported real estate statistic is the median sale price, which analysts consider to be reflective of what a “typical” property sold for. Unlike other averages, such as the mean – which can be skewed by very high or very low sales – the median is generally reflective of current market activity. REIQ Journal September 2008