There’s an interesting read over at BCBusinessOnline about those crazy bubble bloggers and forum bears:
The “Bears” talk cover up which I always find so intriguing. Commenting on the September stats from the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, Seth M. says: “This will only make the conspiratorially minded angrier — most of them convinced that the so-called benchmark indices produced by organized real estate are covering up a major decline.” The reality is the numbers from behind the HPI are actuals. They aren’t fabricated to prop up a cyclic market so that realtors can hang onto their markets.
Now there may be some of you that believe the ‘cover up’ angle on the HPI, but I think you’re maybe a little crazy. There is nothing to be gained by massaging the numbers. My feeling on the HPI is that there seems to have been no good reason to change the methodology for calculating it. It used to be a very decent apples to apples historical comparison, but by changing the measurement and then recalculating it they’ve killed its value as a long term gauge.
I think any problems with the HPI come down to opacity and bad math, not any smoky back room conspirators whose only goal is to keep house prices high.
But what do I know? I’m just a crazy anonymous bubble blogger.