The Burst Housing Bubble: Is the Media Overplaying the Crash?

First and foremost, I gotta give a big “shout out” to my friend and fellow Rain City Guide contributor, Ardell DellaLoggia, who actually made this very point in response to a prior post of mine. And instead of thanking her, I gave her a hard time. Sometimes bloggers can be real jerks… :-(

On January 21, the Seattle Times published an article with this headline:
Back to 2005 for King County Real Estate Prices
The article noted that, year over year, the 2010 King County median home value ($375k) had slipped nearly all the way back to the 2005 median price ($374k). OK, sounds significant.

Then today, the Times published this article:
King County Median Home Price for January Hits 6-Year Low
This article notes that in January the median value fell to $356k, where it has not been since April of 2005. But isn’t this really the same story they pushed in the last article? I mean six years ago would have been 2005, right? Presumably this passed the editor’s desk because year-over-year differs from this straight comparison. But it hardly constitutes news, at least not without some explanation as to the significance in light of the fact that 2005 prices have been around for a while.

Which perhaps is good evidence of the media’s propensity to simply follow the “news,” even if its not news. In other words, everyone is conscious these days of falling values — its a hot topic that people are talking about. So the Times runs any story that matches this interest. It’d be nice if the paper engaged in a little more analysis, though — I mean, if I just wanted endless fluff, I’d only read blogs! 😉

Posted by Marc

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