OLD Media Moves

Is media overplaying housing story?

August 25, 2006

Ken Shepherd of the Business & Media Institute writes that recent coverage in the business media about a “chill” in the housing market overstates the issue.

Shepherd wrote, “As the media front-loaded their stories with a pessimistic outlook on the housing market, they buried or misrepresented the actual data.

“According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the real estate industry group that calculated existing home sales, overall the median price of homes went up nationwide by 0.9 percent over July 2005.

“What’s more, as NBC’s Kevin Corke conceded at the close of his otherwise negatively slanted story, analysts ‘say those who purchased a home at least three years ago could still reap a hefty profit if they sold their place, just not as big as before.’

“The media’s spin on the new numbers fails to put home values in perspective, an NAR spokesperson who preferred not to be identified told the Business & Media Institute.

“‘Sensationalism often sells. We’re still looking at the third-best year in housing history,’ the NAR official told BMI. ‘Coming off of five years of strong sales, you can’t sustain that forever. When things start normalizing, it’s easy to compare to the best year ever, to say the sky is dropping.’

“The NAR spokesperson went on to caution that while ‘all real estate is local,’ about ‘a third of some local markets’ in the most recent home sales reporter were ‘actually expanding,’ thanks in part to interest rates that are ‘still historically low.'”

Read more here.

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