Open Access to Data

Open Access to Data

This story is running like wild fire all over the blogosphere, and rightfully so; it’s outrageous. Apparently, after years of sharing their real estate data during the boom, the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors is refusing to share their data now (4th paragraph from the top of the article). Gee, I wonder why? Might it have something to do with a collapsing real estate market in a locale that is also claimed to be immune to a market bust? I guess we won’t know until later, when the data is stale.

I know from my own personal experience how hard it is to get good real estate data…the kind of data that would result in some very interesting and informative charts. This data is jealously guarded by the real estate industry; if you control the information, then you can control the market. I’ve asked for such data time and time again from Marin realtors and have been denied. Most of the time I just want to recalculate the officially reported statistics to see if they have been fudged or not. Sometimes I want to get insight into the market that is otherwise difficult to get.

I strongly encourage you to write the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and share your thoughts with them.

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