In a previous column, I was giving real estate site Movoto a little bit of friendly ribbing over how they “helpfully” provided high schools that were far from a featured home, while ignoring much closer (but lower-scoring) schools. I suggested that they deliberately “lost” their distance data so they could upsell site visitors, who would see the high test scores and decide to buy a more expensive house.
Seems I’m not the only one wondering what’s up with Movoto and their data. Here’s an observation from Burbed reader Robert:
You guys have a link to Motovo.com on your website. When I looked at San Jose, CA market stats on Motovo.com I get some strange data out… http://www.movoto.com/statistics/ca/san-jose.htm Over 5,000 new listings, but only 11 sales, in the last five months. How can that be?
Just in case Movoto actually reads the other column and fixes whatever was munging their data, here’s some screenshots to show what Robert is talking about. This is the first part of Movoto’s San Jose statistics page.
Since that’s not the easiest thing to read, here’s a close-up of the monthly listing and sales numbers:
Notice the number of price reductions and listings sold or expired. Robert is right. What the heck happened here? First, let’s see if the problem is everywhere or just this one site. What does Redfin have to say about sales in San Jose?
According to Redfin, sales dropped but not by several orders of magnitude. Is Movoto showing weird numbers for all cities? Here’s Santa Clara:
Interesting: sales plummeted, but in March rather than January. Let’s check a few more cities. Everybody’s favorite: Sunnyvale!
The elevens dearth continues.
Cupertino’s numbers didn’t crash until April, and didn’t crash as badly, either.
And Los Altos almost looks normal, except for May.
Here’s the real answer: they don’t care about the South Bay. Palo Alto’s numbers look okay, and that’s all that matters.