Zillow has a new service called a "Zindex" that gives average prices for an area broken down by home type. The problem is Zillow doesn't really know what a home type is. And if they can't even tell the difference between a home type and home ownership structure, why should we trust anything they publish. Sometimes I wonder if anyone at their company has ever sold a house or held a real estate license.
Just to clarify my point, Zillow breaks down home types into two major categories and then breaks those two categories down by size. The two major categories are Single Family Residence and Condominium. The problem with their breakdown is it is based on the structure of ownership, not style of home. Any property can be a condominium. Go here for the definition of Condominium. In our market place, there are many different types of homes that are classified as condominiums. Semi-attached homes, townhouses, apartment style multi-family units, garden style homes, etc.
I know that a lot of people use the term condo to describe an apartment style home but in the database that Zillow pulls from there is no such determination. All condominium ownership units are lumped in together even though they are completely different home types. And houses that are almost identical in style, size and price will fall into two different categories.
The two properties above will fall into two different categories in Zillow's breakdown. Can you tell which one is a condominium?
Zillow's new service will perpetuate this confusion amoung the public. Their new service is definitely a step up from their previous disaster called zestimates and they seem to be increasing the accuracy of their numbers but maybe they should hire someone who actually knows real estate terminology.