Friday, March 27, 2009

Dearth of Data

When we moved back to Sacramento in the fall of 2006, I was all set to buy a home. But quickly realized, after seeing the differential between rents and home prices, that buying was not a financially viable option for us.

In my attempt to reign in my very strong nesting instinct, not able to trust the realtors I had met, I turned to the internet where I found publicly available data. In particular, the data provided by zip code was the most relevant, when trying to discern trends in areas of interest. Through the local RE blogs, I found links to two separate sources, DataQuick and Melissa Data. It was nice to have more than one source of this data, to confirm trends, and ferret out bias.

Unfortunately, the favorite of my two, DataQuick has now stopped providing data to the Sacramento Bee, by zip code on a monthly basis (I finally e-mailed the Bee to inquire when it didn't show up this month). The best I can find is their data by city, which doesn't appear to corroborate with their previous data by zip.

This is a very frustrating turn of events, as this source of data was one of the best on the local housing market.

No comments: