Thursday, March 3, 2016

Where to find reliable economic data

In Lehman's Terms

I've seen plenty of so-called experts comment recently on the Texas economy.
Some say it's in free fall; others assure us that the economy is on solid ground. If oil prices fall below $30 a barrel, however, the state will be thrown into an economic tailspin by 2017-or we won't see much of an impact due to our diversified economy.

Who is right? Everyone and no one.

If you took Statistics 101 in college, you know you can manipulate data in many different directions. A savvy reader will recognize that many of these comments are strategically included in newspapers and magazines to draw attention to the publication-or clicks to the website-and hopefully increase sales revenue.  

So where do you go for reliable economic forecasting to inform your decisions about buying a house, relocating a business, or planning urban growth? College Station.

For over 45 years, the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University has proven to be the most reliable source of information on housing sales, economic trends,  land use initiatives, trade, and several other issues as they relate to real estate and their impact on the Texas economy. This research is used by variety of sources-most notably by state lawmakers and public policy directors who look to the center for the most reliable, up-to-date information they can use when addressing our state's long- and short-term economic needs.

The Real Estate Center is the nation's largest publicly funded organization dedicated to conducting real estate research. A little-known fact about the center is that it is funded almost entirely by Texas real estate license fees. 

Visit the center's website to learn more about this wonderful real estate resource unique to Texas. While there, you'll see the outstanding report "Outlook for the Texas Economy," which explains upcoming changes in the business cycle.

This report is one of the many resources the center provides for Texans every day. In fact, even though the center is celebrating its 45th anniversary this year, I'd say Texans are the ones receiving the gifts.

Mark Lehman is vice president of Governmental Affairs at the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

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