The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 February 2007

Soft, Zillowy numbers

I've spent some time playing with Zillow, as it speculates as to the value of the palatial Surlywood estate, and sometimes it seems pretty accurate — and sometimes you wonder where the heck they came up with that number.

The Wall Street Journal has now looked into the matter, and, well, sometimes it seems pretty accurate, and — never mind, you can see where this is going.

Executive summary, sort of:

The WSJ took 1,000 recent sales and compared the sale price with Zillow's estimate (which didn't reflect the sale) and found that it was within 7.8% accurate, evenly split on the high and low side. However, the average doesn't tell the full story, what's the standard deviation? Well, on 110 of the 1000, it was off by more than 25% and of the 110, 23 were off by more than 50%. Zillow's nice and, as I've mentioned in the past, it's only as good as the information it has — often times it doesn't have the full picture.

Reasonable conclusion:

Still a fun little tool that really doesn't bring much to the table. Can you use it to get an idea of the value of a home? Sure, but I wouldn't bet any money on it.

Current Surlywood Zestimate: $101,558. I think this is about, oh, 7.8 percent high.

(Via The Consumerist.)

Posted at 11:37 AM to Common Cents


Mine is now $111,342.

My friend who has been house shopping told me he hasn't seen anything like mine for less than $100k.

You ask me though I would say I would be hard pressed to get that for it. High $80s or $90s maybe.

Posted by: ms7168 at 6:19 PM on 16 February 2007

Their database of homes for sale or recently sold is more than a year out of date in my neighborhood. One that has been on the market that long is unflagged, while others that sold maybe a year before that one went on the market, are still flagged as "recently sold."

Posted by: McGehee at 5:25 PM on 17 February 2007