Is the Media Right About the 2010 Housing Outlook?

Before tackling how well the media understands the state of the housing market, a threshold question: Does the media’s take on the housing market matter?

I think it does, because purchasing a home depends so much on one’s expectations about the future.

When people are optimistic, a big ticket decision like buying a home is easier; pessimistic, more difficult.

At the margins, at least, the tenor of the news does influence people’s attitudes, expectations, etc.

Which begs the question, how accurate is the media’s take on the housing market?

Going to Extremes

It’s more anecdotal than scientific, but I think it’s correct to say that there’s a consensus amongst Realtors — at least the ones I know — that the media seldom “gets” the tenor of the housing market exactly right.

A year ago, the media overdid the “doom and gloom.”


If anything, it’s overplaying the “recovery” theme.

In the trenches, the housing market still looks shaky, especially in the upper brackets.

To pick just one example locally, there apparently is now a 40 month-plus supply of $1 million dollar homes for sale in Eden Prairie.

Given that 6-8 months of supply is considered balanced . . . that’s a lot of inventory.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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