Forcing sellers to reveal the address, reserve price, sale price and the price if passed, as demanded by two recent articles in The Age newspaper, was unrealistic and ignored peoples’ right to privacy, Enzo Raimondo, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Victoria (REIV), said yesterday.
“On the face of it, the notion of a compulsory disclosure sounds good but fails to consider the privacy of individuals,” Mr Raimondo said. “The current system strikes the right balance of informing the market and protecting people’s privacy.”
Mr Raimondo said he was responding to two separate articles that appeared in the previous two Sunday issues of The Age which questioned the REIV’s collection and reporting of auction and private sales results.
“In the first article, The Age questioned the clearance rate and suggested that the laws in Victoria be changed to force every person selling a home to report to the public the address, reserve price, the sale price and the price if passed in,” he said in an article published on the REIV website.
“The Age suggested that this was necessary to ensure transparency. To add some colour to their article, they quoted some disparaging remarks from Mr Chris Koren, a buyer’s agent, who is not a member of the REIV and who, some years ago, had his licence suspended for breaches of the Estate Agents Act.”
Mr Raimondo also questioned the credibility of a source, Sydney-based researcher Louis Christopher, who was used in a second article which, he said, suggested the health of the auction market could be worse if the method of reporting auctions were confined to reporting sales made under the hammer.
“Mr Christopher is a past employee of the Fairfax-owned data company Australian Property Monitors (APM) who left that company’s employ under a cloud and has a history of disputing REIV research.”
Mr Raimondo went on to describe how the REIV collected the data, a process he said was expensive but necessary to ensure the public understood what was happening in the market.
“By the end of the weekend, the results collected from REIV members represent around 90 per cent of auction sales and 75 per cent of all metropolitan residential sales, sufficient to determine how the market is performing.”