There's an interesting new real estate web site out there….
HardTack has this to say about themselves:
Hardtack is a web site and demonstration application of a concept called "content based integration." Hardtack was built using a platform for RSS based integration called "Boomerang." Boomerang was developed by OSG to employ the power of content based integration towards enterprise computing, and large scale data scavenging and aggregation.
The concept behind Hardtack is simple – provide a means to monitor high level statistics on hundreds of local, state and region real estate markets across the United States. To do this Hardtack employs a small program called a "Feedlet" that treats the web as a database. These Feedlets scavenge real estate listings from web sites and aggregates them based on location, product type, price and a list of other attributes. These aggregate listings are then used to compute market statistics, which are formed into web usable content. A small web site then is able to use this content and display it to users in a variety of forms.
And they do display some interesting data, nifty charts, and more.
Their FAQ says they get the bulk of their data from Realtor.com, which they combine that with "other" real estate web sites. I used HardTack to see what they had on Gilbert real estate, my little home town corner of the Phoenix real estate market. I then compared this to the big bad MLS to see how the numbers stacked up.
Here is the HardTack summary for Gilbert, AZ Single Family Homes (as you can see, they also have sections for multi-family homes, condos and land):
And here is what the local MLS has to say:
So it looks like HardTack is "missing" 428 listings compared to the MLS, is reporting a slightly higher average price and a slightly smaller average home size.
That's actually pretty close for something like this. It helps demonstrate that it's difficult to get an *exact* count of the current home inventory. And keep in mind that even the MLS doesn't include exclusive listings and FSBO's.
For comparison purposes, Realtor.com reports 2,585 homes listed in Gilbert, AZ, ZipRealty — who for whatever reason seems to be the site the bubbleheads like to quote — is currently reporting 2,852. Trulia is showing 859, and Zillow has 477. (Note: neither Trulia nor Zillow claim to have "all the listings". For that matter, HardTack makes no such claim either, but they are very close.)
What I think HardTack could be useful for is spotting trends in various markets. Even if the absolute numbers aren't 100% accurate, the trends it displays should be accurate as long as they don't radically change the way they "scrape" listing data.
Here's an example of the charts it generates:
Pretty nice stuff. What would be *really* slick is if I could select different markets to chart together. I'd like to be able to do that not only for different cities in the Phoenix metro area, but also compare say Phoenix to Vegas, Dallas, whatever.
The site includes the ubiquitous map search, though I found the drop downs much easier to use. Of course they don't have every market out there, but they appear to have many.
The site is speedy, it is updated frequently and it compiles a whole lot of information into easy to digest charts. Give it a whirl, I know I'll be back…
[tags]HardTack, OSG Boomerang Technology, real estate website[/tags]