Lies, Damned Lies and Property Market Statistics

Nov 20, 2013


I am going to remark on our sales performance this month. Because despite it being a slow time traditionally, what with Santa getting his sleigh ready and all that, Emoov have so far posted an astonishing sales performance regardless.

So, first for the self congratulatory bit that you would expect from a promotional blog such as this…..

Month to date, our sales are up 69.5% on November 2012. And despite our growth in that time to be the UK’s number ONE low cost estate agent, this has significantly outperformed our inventory growth of 27.8%.

What does this mean? In other words, our hike in sales performance is not just attributed to the fact that we are much bigger than we were this time last year. It is a definitive indication that the market is better, for sure (thanks Help to Buy etc) but that we as an estate agency are very, very successful at selling houses. And flats. And bungalows.  And disproportionately so as we haven’t managed to come across any other property firm that is comparatively selling out of its skin as we are.

Naturally, then there’s the fee saving. In the first 20 days of November we have managed to save our clients £156,546 in estate agency fees and which means that their particular Christmas trees will no doubt be more ‘bulgeous’ than usual this year thanks to the Emoov concept working so well for them

These are the facts. However out of this particular number crunching exercise came a further statistic. One relating to property values.

In November 2012 our average selling price was £204,140. This year it’s £233,794, a 14% increase.

In full on hype mode, this sort of stat is usually jumped on as an indication of exaggerated house price inflation. Indeed the most recent Rightmove HPI research used a similar set of numbers, but based on ASKING prices, rather than sold prices, to assist drooling property market commentators to portray that the market is ‘booming’.

When in actual fact it just means that there has been shift in the benchmark value of homes sold. A demographic change. Maybe a geographically weighted one too.

There’s a huge difference between unweighted stats that aggregate a basket of sold prices versus an actual increase. And although it’s great to be hearing such ecstatically positive mutterings from pundits with regard to values, one must be cautious when absorbing the ramblings of the property press currently whereby it is fashionable to suck up all kinds of data, sometimes irrelevant, in order to construct a Daily Express style ‘the market is over heating’ headline.

The value of properties listed with have not soared by 14%. But we could have spun it that the stats show they have.

Some journos certainly would do.





Russell Quirk is Founder of