The media can spin a story any way it wants, and consumers believe the headlines. It is the same with real estate news.
Here are two versions of the exact same information. One is from the National Association of Realtors, the other is from the February 15, 2008 edition of USA Today. As a consumer, which one do you believe?
First, the NAR version:
“Roughly half of metropolitan areas continued to show rising home prices in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to the latest quarterly survey by the National Association of RealtorsÂ®.
In the fourth quarter, 73 out of 150 metropolitan statistical areas(1) show increases in median existing single-family home prices from a year earlier, including 11 areas with double-digit annual gains and another 12 metros showing increases of 6 percent or more; 77 had price declines including 16 with double-digit drops.”
Now, here’s the USA Today version:
“Underscoring the breadth of the real estate recession, sales of existing homes fell in 45 states and Washington, D.C., in the last quarter of 2007, and prices dropped in more than half the metro areas it tracks, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday.
The slide in sales is projected to persist through the first half of this year, and prices will likely fall throughout 2008, according to a majority of economists surveyed last month by USA TODAY.”