Property commentator Alistair Helm says Kiwis are missing out on valuable real estate data.
Helm, who used to head up Realestate.co.nz, is a data guru who often crunches numbers on his blog, Properazzi.
He has often said that New Zealand is in a fortunate position because of the amount of data available.
But he said the fact that Property IQ wants to acquire Terralink is threatening competition. A decision is due from the Commerce Commission next month.
Helm said it would be a bad move if the commission allowed the deal.
“For a start it would be the death of Zoodle as Property IQ would strengthen the dominance and profitability of QV as the only place where you could get as a member of the public, historical sales data and estimated property valuations.”
He said the Real Estate Institute was also closing off data to the public.
“Firstly they removed the downloadable spreadsheet for the Stratified House Price Index which provided historical monthly median and stratified median prices for Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Other North Island, Other South Island as well as National data month-by-month back to 1992.”
It has also closed off its website’s Market Facts Graph capability.
“In my opinion restricting access to data that was once available for free is a backwards step. This is both in terms of the general principle of making data accessible, so that people can be allowed to analyse and provide perspective and insights; and in the specific sense of an industry that I am sure wants to help people be better informed about buying property rather than what could be perceived as a revenue generating decision as highlighted by the newly appearing references to paying for access to data from REINZ by the general public.”