Don't believe all the property stats you read on Twitter or view on TV. That's my warning as I watch The Property Professor (aka Peter Koulizos, who lectures on property investment and runs related courses) continue to mislead by publishing his miscalculated RP Data figures.
Last month I spotted The Professor on Twitter making some bold claims about prices in Australian capitals, such as:
"Melbourne dwelling prices have dropped 7.0% in the first 8 months of 2014. Ouch!"
"Sydney prices have dropped 0.8% in the first 8 months of 2014. 2014 is a very different year to 2013 for Sydney property owners!"
"Adel is the only capital city where dwelling prices increased over the first 8 months of 2014. It was only 1.0% but we'll take that!"
It was clear from what I'd seen via multiple housing price data providers (such as RP Data, Residex & ABS) that The Professor's claims had no place in reality, so I challenged him on Twitter:
I found that rather than using the 'year to date' figures that are published each month by RP Data, he was instead taking the median dwelling prices from the first page of each report and calculating the growth results manually.
Not only had these figures been published on Twitter, but in the middle of the year they also made local news!
These fudged figures do not reflect reality and thought I'd seen the last of The Professor's use of this methodology (after I'd highlighted the error of his ways)... but he's back this month with a new set of comments, including such corkers as:
"SYDNEY – Median House Price at 31/12/13 was $775,000. As of 30/9/14 it was $750,000. A DECREASE of 3.2%. No current property boom here!"
When RP Data's published year to date for Sydney shows: +9.8%
"MELB - Median House Price at 31/12/13 was $625,000. As of 30/9/14 it was $590,000. A DECREASE of 5.6%. No current property boom here!"
When RP Data's published year to date for Melbourne shows: +6.7%
And so on:
Here are the actual year to date figures from RP Data's latest report (Wednesday, October 1, 2014):
Professor, what are you doing? Please stop spreading ridiculous property figures!
I'm sharing links and opinions daily on Twitter (@BullionBaron).