The sexiest profession of the 21st century is…
Want a job that makes you irresistible? It may surprise you to hear that having an investment banker or firefighter title against your name, or even a CrossFit instructor’s, is no longer evidence yours is the most desirable profession.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the sexiest profession of the 21st century is tipped to be data scientist. We employ a lot of data scientists at REA Group, and while they have many great attributes, what makes them most irresistible is their ability to tell the future.
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Data scientists now hold the insight cards in their palms — not by reading planet alignments or palms or tea leaves, but by analysing and modelling the enormous amounts of data produced on our sites and combining it with other sources of information.
If you’d asked me 15 years ago if the sexiest profession would have included the words “data” and “scientist” in the title, I probably would have laughed
If I want to know the projected residential price increase of Hoxton Park, the types of housing preferred by first-home buyers, or the configuration of a residential apartment that will get the most interest, our team can pull the data, develop statistical models and tell me the answers. As someone who holds a fascination for future trends, it’s hard not to be impressed.
Recently, our data scientists have been looking at the probability of someone selling their home. Supply of housing, whether it is new dwellings or new listings, is often seen as simply a result of demand. Enough demand will push up prices and either prompt people to sell or allow developers to get a large enough margin to put up more housing.
When listing a home, we know strong demand is not the only driver to sell, and a more complex analysis is required.
The owner ultimately wants the best price possible, but other factors also feature, including a mix of market drivers and personal drivers. These can include the demographic of the household, sales activity in the street the house is in, and the rental yield the house achieves or could achieve.
By looking at these drivers in isolation, it is hard to determine a market trend, but give a data scientist a computer, loads of data and a modelling package and chances are they can work it out.
Right now we’re seeing high clearance rates in Sydney and Melbourne, but this is not necessarily translating into new listings.
Melbourne, in particular, had fewer auctions last week than it has had for a while, as owners of property appear to be holding off for a variety of reasons.
While they have many great attributes, what makes them most irresistible is their ability to tell the future
This could be because they believe they will get a better price in spring, or perhaps they are deciding to hold on to properties longer because they think there is still price growth in the market.
In reality, the reasons are complex and show high variability across and within each capital city.
If you’d asked me 15 years ago if the sexiest profession would have included the words “data” and “scientist” in the title, I probably would have laughed. But luckily we now have lots of irresistible data scientists to help us work it out and interpret the numbers, enabling us to continually supply better and more relevant information to both buyers and sellers.
Nerida Conisbee is chief economist REA Group.
This article originally appeared on www.theaustralian.com.au/property.