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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Bad News

As if to prove my point from yesterday, this morning's Dallas Morning News has a blaring headline that existing home sales fell 28%!
However, when you read the article, near the end, you see that this is actually not the case. Home sales did not fall 28%. They are off 28% from the same February period a year ago.

In terms of change in sales volume, they are about the same as they were last month, with a little uptick. Moreover, the inventory of unsold homes is - at their present pace of sales - about a 6 month supply. Realtors quoted in this same story said that is "about right" and is consistent with the market even in the best of times.

So what's the real piece of news to be reported here? A more truthful headline might be something like "Home Sales Remain Flat: Off 28% from Last Year's Volume." What do you suppose the Dallas Morning News intends to accomplish with their inaccurate, misleading and most of all - depressing and discouraging reporting? Do they really think this will help them sell more papers and salvage their own financial butts?

I live in a pretty average neighborhood. The house across the street from me went on the market just before Christmas and sold in one week. One street over, a house on the corner has been empty for a couple of months and just sold last week. The new owners just moved in. We may not be enjoying a booming period of real estate sales. However, the real estate market is far from dead.

Houses are still selling. In some pockets, sales are up. Foreclosure volume is down. Mortgage applications are up. Inflation is not even a concern. Even the stock market rallied yesterday. Come on, news media - get your act together and provide society with something truly worthwhile!

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