I got a good laugh out of the end of the world party a few weeks ago but I’m getting a bigger laugh at the recent “end of the world” coverage in regards to the slanted Case-Schiller housing study we read of yesterday.
If I wasn’t a firm believer in journalistic malpractice I’d be amazed at the media attention this report has gotten. Unfortunately it comes as no surprise how badly skewed and inaccurate this report truly is. Did you know it only covers 20 markets across America? Did you know the markets it covered are mainly the ones in major distress with enormous inventories and citizens fleeing high taxes?
This kind of headline to the uninformed could have dramatic effects on the marketplace. Do these journalists and analysts not realize the damage they are causing by not reporting all the facts?
A wise man once said “give an egotist a fax machine and they’ll believe they can change the world.” I think the same can be said for the people behind the report and its reporting of the same.
I’m going to correctly point out a couple items surreptitiously left from the reporting:
1) The Case-Schiller Home Price Indices are meaningless to individual buyers who are looking at specific houses, on specific streets, in specific neighborhoods;
2) Now is most likely the smartest time to buy in decades, if not our lifetime, as it is all about “I-I-I-P”: Inventory, Interest Rates, Incentives and Pricing.
a. In Eagle River Inventory is creeping down. A sign that we have reversed course? Wall Street Journal reported that sales in resort areas are up 40% - Sales in Vilas county are up 111% from last year – I want to believe we are on the swing up;
b. Interest Rates for mortgages remain at near-historic lows and have actually trended down over the last 7 weeks with Freddie reporting 30 year fixed rates averaging 4.55%;
c. Incentives are the tax advantages of home ownership. They are there and plentiful; and
d. Prices are down from mid-decade highs and are showing stability and even on some properties increases in price.
Home affordability remains near record levels and the
price-to-value proposition in most markets is extremely compelling.
If you’re interested in buying a home for use or for investment, you owe it to yourself to do some serious analysis and explore what is available in your price range. I think you’ll be very surprised and I think you’ll be making a wise decision – especially if inflation is around the corner. There may be no better hedge against the impending “end of the world.”