Does anyone REALLY know what they are Talking about With Housing Prices?

Does anyone REALLY know what they are Talking about With Housing Prices?

As I was sitting in the dentist’s office waiting for them to call me in so I can get 3 cavities filled (yeah my mouth hurts as I write this) I was reading cnbc.com headlines on my phone and I saw an article that just really made my blood boil.

Today, Mark Koba wrote an article titled, “Is Now the Time for Some Home Buyers to Make a Deal?”  I usually love CNBC mobile, but this article was nothing but trash; a fluff piece which actually seems like it was released by National Associate of Realtors.

Take a look at Mr. Koba’s second paragraph,

Most of the big declines in home prices have occurred,” says Lawrence Yun, the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “Any more will probably be minimal.”

The he quotes a realtor,

“Home prices are where they should be,” says Robert Abbott, co-owner and VP of Abbott & Caserta Realtors in northern New Jersey. “Sellers are accepting the current reality and are pricing more realistically.”

Mr. Koba, tries to seem impartial by quoting a realtor who flip flops!

Not everyone thinks housing prices have bottomed or might not even go lower. Fred Skolich, president of Skolich Real Estate in New Jersey says prices remain in flux.

“I think they are still going to come down,” says Skolich. “We’re in the middle of the Spring market. After we get away from that, I think you’ll see some further adjustments in price.”

***

But home buyers waiting on the sidelines to time the market could be making a mistake, says Skolich. “You might wait for a lower price, but then interest rates could go up,” Skolich says. “It’s like a stock, you don’t know if you’re really buying at the bottom or not.”

I am not a Journalist nor an Economist

I am not an economist, and despite a quick 4 year stint in college I don’t pretend to be one, and according to Weakanomist I don’t want to be one.  Similarly, I am not a journalist, I am simply a guy who bought a domain name and am pumped some people decide to read it!

But come on! You are reporting for CNBC step up the game.  Why not mention the fact that the NAR is a lobby group for realtors?  Or talk about how the old chief economist of the NAR, David Lereah, basically admitted to pumping up sound bites for his client (from an interview dated 2/2008):

Q: Were you wrong to be so bullish?
A: I worked for an association promoting housing, and it was my job to represent their interests. If you look at my actual forecasts, the numbers were right inline with most forecasts. The difference was that I put a positive spin on it It was easy to do during boom times, harder when times weren’t good. I never thought the whole national real estate market would burst.

Q: The NAR’s latest forecast calls for a slight increase in home prices next year. Thoughts?
A: My views are quite different now. I’m pretty bearish and have been for the past year and a half. Home prices will continue to drop. I think we’ll see a very modest recovery in sales activity in 2009. But we’ve still got excess inventories, a bad economy and a credit crunch that will push prices down further, another 5% to 10% more. It’ll take a long time to get back
to the peak prices we saw in many markets.

Q: Any regrets?
A: I would not have done anything different. But I was a public spokesman writing about
housing having a good future. I was wrong. I have to take responsibility for that.

I get spin, I mean come on I am an attorney by education! Mr. Koba is a journalist and he should have really shown a credible opposite argument.  I know most news stories are biased (I watch Fox News!) but for some reason this story pissed me off!  Am I being too sensitive?

One Response to Does anyone REALLY know what they are Talking about With Housing Prices?

  1. No, you are not being too sensitive.

    Most money advice is spin. It is marketing. It is stuff put together to sell newspapers or magazines or whatever.

    We all need to be tougher about this sort of thing. Effective money management means more today than it has before (because there is more money floating around). The middle-class lets most of it slip through its fingers because most of the personal finance advice is marketing-driven rather than solve-the-problem-driven.

    Blogs could make a difference. There's an opportunity here.

    Rob

Leave a reply


9 − = 5