The Numbers, Part 1: Sources of Information

Land Title's Eagle County Market Analysis for January shows some strong numbers as the Vail Valley real estate market continues to gain ground.

Today’s lesson: A look at where all these numbers come from.

On this blog and our Market Report Center, the Rocky Mountain Home Team tracks Vail Valley real estate market conditions, trends, news and numbers.  You may wonder where we get our information. Here is a short summary:

Raw data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for Eagle County is the most readily available and up-to-date information we can provide. Our access to the MLS allows us to check the numbers on any market, at any price point at any time.  The MLS is updated in real time as Realtors make adjustments to the price and status of each listing. Real-time updates ensure the timeliest snapshot of the market possible, but are also subject to rapid change.

MLS data is compiled by professionals with a legitimate stake in the community and bound by a code of ethics, and is therefore more reliable than other sources of “market data.”  Even so, human error, server glitches and a continual stream of updates can all impact “raw” MLS data.  For example average sales price for the month-to-date will look very different before and after a $10 million dollar sale is entered into the system.  If that sale is initially recorded as a $100 thousand dollar sale and then corrected, checking the numbers between the initial mistake and the correction will yield inaccurate data.

The Vail Board of Realtors compiles the MLS data for each month into a market report, which will usually be released early in the following month. The VBR report provides the “official” numbers for the month that real estate professionals use for reference and to determine trends.  The board also provides quarterly reports for each neighborhood. 

Our final report for each month comes from Land Title Guarantee Company. Land Title’s report, which generally follows a month behind the VBR report, adds real estate transaction data from outside the MLS and breaks down the information in a variety of ways.  The Land Title report represents a truly comprehensive effort, but the small number of off-MLS transactions usually means it looks similar to the VBR report.

We at the Rocky Mountain Home Team enjoy geeking out on the numbers as much as (ok, maybe a bit more than) anybody else, but paying attention to data and trends is only a part of what we do.  If you’re looking to buy or sell Vail Valley real estate, contact us to find out how our systems can become your solutions!

Check back next week for The Numbers, Part 2: What do the Numbers Mean?

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