Is it time for the ACCC to look at real estate data reporting?

January 21st, 2018

2018 is already shaping up to be an interesting year for Sydney property; whether residential, commercial or industrial.

On the residential front, Domain just reported the first auction results for 2018.

Continuing the trend established by the end of 2017, its non reporting rate today was an absurd 54%.

Sure, there was only a handful of scheduled auctions (26), but why bother reporting any if all you can muster are results for 12 of them?

With the high profile Doc Andrew Wilson having quietly but suddenly exited sans replacement late last year after Domain was spun off and many balls having been dropped by that brand in Q4 2017, we wonder if its days as a research house are over.

If so, CoreLogic would achieve a near monopoly having progressively gobbled up RP Data and Residex/On the House.

This undoubtedly would make CoreLogic a private enterprise with dominance over the market for the collection and provision of regular data relating to the largest asset class in Australia. While the only other serious independent player (SQM Research) is an excellent resource, its range of reports doesn’t fill the void.

Seen that way, it’s a frightening thought and one in which the ACCC could easily and should get interested.

Meantime and more than ever, caveat emptor!

And, having already been burnt in August 2016 by erroneous data from CoreLogic, ditto the RBA.

Reconciling often wildly conflicting property data published by the various research houses has always been difficult. With that data having increasingly been concentrated in CoreLogic’s hands since 2011, at least Domain provided consumers with a choice and therefore, a better chance of making informed decisions.

Let’s hope these ‘more of the same from Domain’ results are the first and last of their type for 2018.