September 17, 2010

Why It's Important to Know WHERE the Data for a Survey Came

I opened my news reader up this evening to find the headline, 70 Percent Say Buying Now is Good.

Great News, Right?  Agents will be working, people owning new property, the economy rebounding...

BUT WAIT!

Another headline reads, New Survey Finds 76 Percent of Consumers Now Believe Renting to be a Better Option over Homeownership.

HUH?!

Didn't we just read that 70% of the people said now was a good time to buy?  Now, I admit that I don't fully grasp the whole "new math" concept, but 70 + 76 does still equal 146, right?

SO, WHAT GIVES?

The first headline is from a survey conducted by Fannie Mae.  The second headline is from a survey conducted by the National Apartment Association.

Do you think either of these might have a vested interest in the opposing outcomes that they got?  The other important factor in deciphering the survey data is finding out how they arrived at their conclusions (btw, that is usually hidden somewhere in the fine print, if at all).

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