More Signs of Housing Stabilization

via Kevin Depew comes this hilarious history of Housing headlines:

Janhousing

Brilliant!

Source:
Largest Home Price Drop Ever!
Kevin Depew
Minayville, Feb 16, 2007 8:03 am
http://www.minyanville.com/articles/index.php?a=12177

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Discussions found on the web:
  1. Neal commented on Feb 21

    Michael Noonan, president of Builders Association of the Twin Cities, president of Minnesota office of Toll Brothers, “The bubble has not and is not about to burst”, “No matter what you read and hear, it is still a good time to build, and our focus is going to show everyone why.” (Finance and Commerce, Feb 20, 2007).

  2. Nova Law commented on Feb 21

    Realtors bullish on home prices?

    What’ll they think of next?

    Perhaps bear-oriented hedge fund operators negative on equities?

    Amazing, I tell you.

  3. Mr. Flibble commented on Feb 21

    Barry,
    Thank you for posts like this. I swear that US journalists are, in the aggregate, the laziest bunch of SOBs ever to pull a paycheck. There is no accountability for either the journalist or the “source,” and every wrong or blatantly self-interested prediction ever just goes down the memory hole to get recycled later.

    Except on blogs like yours. Thank you.

  4. Bakshi commented on Feb 21

    Home Depot 4Q Profit Drops 28 Percent… and the stock drops like $.40 over 2 days… Len, PHM, BZH & TOL are all consolidating. It cannot be the journalist alone; this is a big gang… And the Banks are running this scam.

  5. Michael Schumacher commented on Feb 21

    Where do you think the extra money the treasury is printing is going to? HB stocks, one of about two rationale explanations of why they keep finding a bottom. Been finding a bottom for over a year now….LOL

    M

  6. Mike_in_FL commented on Feb 21

    The subprime mortgage sector seems to be “stabilizing” nicely too. I see Novastar Financial is stabilizing down about 39% today. That’s good for a -65% stabilization since mid-December.

    Housing starts? Lots of stabilizing there too — down 38% YOY in January. Oh, and don’t miss the rampant stabilization in purchase mortgage applications. They’ve stabilized down 5 out of the past 7 weeks. And as this post from my blog shows, they’re just a few points off their October cycle low. The good news is everywhere, folks!

    http://interestrateroundup.blogspot.com/2007/02/mba-data-shows-home-purchases-falling.html

  7. angryinch commented on Feb 21

    Having been a journalist in a prior life, and having hired many as well, I wouldn’t say that journalists are, by nature, lazy.

    Quite the contrary, really.

    However, when it comes to business and real estate reporting, you’d be amazed—or maybe not so amazed—to learn how little many reporters understand what they are covering.

    This is particularly true of the general business reporters, the ones who work for Reuters, AP and daily newspapers. Most have no business education background nor have worked in running a business of any kind. So they are susceptible to being hoodwinked and misled.

    Trade reporters are generally more familiar with the territory they are covering. And specialized journalists—who cover science, medicine, technology and so forth—tend to do a better job of cutting through the BS.

    So it’s not laziness or sloppy work that is the problem, it’s a basic lack of knowledge.

  8. TexasHippie commented on Feb 21

    So you’re saying they’re not lazy, they’re stupid? Lack of knowledge is something that a smart person can fix by ‘research’ or ‘investigation’. But instead of investigative journalism we have “willful ignorance stenography”. Lack of knowledge is not an acceptable excuse.

  9. Mr. Flibble commented on Feb 21

    So it’s not laziness or sloppy work that is the problem, it’s a basic lack of knowledge.

    I can concede that, perhaps, as another reason. It is certainly plausible that ignorance might also account for what is little more than stenography or the crediting of sources without regard to whether the sources have an interest in spinning a line or have been wrong 100 times in a row. Ignorance works, too.

  10. Jay Weinstein commented on Feb 21

    This is fabulous–just yesterday, I posted on some other site about what a kool-aid drinking dissembler David Lereah is. I don’t know him–he could be the smartest, nicest guy in the world. But have some integrity man! We are not idiots-tell us the truth and let the world deal with it.

  11. rex commented on Feb 21

    To Mr. Flibble and TexasHippie: Pretty clever remark about how lazy journalists are. Sure got a lot of empty heads nodding along with you. Except one thing: All those “news stories” about the realtors were written not by journalists but by the NAR press relations office. They are press releases! How do I know? Because I’m a lazy journalist who took 15 seconds to track down the source. You could have done that too, but then your clever quip wouldn’t have worked.
    Oh well, never let the facts get in your way.

  12. Winston Munn commented on Feb 21

    I think we have uncovered a new category of misinformation – stabilization ex-stabilization.

    Thankfully, we know we will always get the straight scoop from Fannie Mae.

  13. pat commented on Feb 21

    OK, it’s been pretty firmly established that TheBigPicture deprecates much of the, admitted, blather about the bottom of the housing market.

    But it’s not sufficient to simply say no (unless I’ve missed a post as described below).

    You’ve got the stats (and I could look it up myself, but hopefully you’ll save me the trouble). What does the historical record say about what it takes for a housing slump to bottom out?

    As much as there’s a lot of excellent information here, after having read for some time, it comes to fell at times like a rugby scrum of negativity.

    And thus, less useful.

  14. Schahrzad Berkland commented on Feb 22

    January sales are -12% to -30% in southern California counties. If this is a nationwide phenomenon, to see such a big drop in sales from December to January, how will NAR spin that story?

    Likewise, there will be a big jump in sales from February to March, which occurs even in bust years, so be prepared for NAR to proclaim a recovery.
    http://www.californiahousingforecast.com

  15. Eclectic commented on Feb 22

    I’d like to use your topic here to illustrate something about psychology that I have observed.

    It’s about two elements of human nature that are related, but not exactly the same.

    I’m talking about optimism and willfulness.

    I’ll explain this way:

    Assume two people riding the same train who each contemplate the journey they are on.

    The optimist of these two will assume a favorable experience ‘during’ each of the component legs between stations or stops, and will project that optimism continuously in thoughtful expression and actions, and through their interpretation of facts as they occur, even though that optimism might seem peculiar or even absurd to another person observing the same facts.

    The willful person on the other hand will have something of a similar opinion as the optimist, be the willfulness they express will be superimposed over it and will pre-suppose the completed journey from the instant they step onto the train. They won’t spend any time intellectualizing the component legs of the journey, because they don’t have to. They don’t feel it’s necessary.

    Consequently, of these two individuals, the optimist is the only one that could ever alter his opinion about anything that happens on his journey that would possibly make him think about changing his mind and getting off the train, because he is at least interpreting the facts as they occur.

    The willful person will ride the train until the wheels fall off and never spend the slightest time analyzing anything. He’s on the train to complete the journey and that’s all he’s interested in.

    The optimist thinks to himself: “I’ll worry, but in the end I’ll be happy.”

    The willful person thinks to himself: “Don’t worry… be happy.”

    The former is consultative… the latter is paternalistic.

    Now to conclude:

    What we have in the financial (commentary), political, and investment represented media, whether in print, online or on TV, are a great many commentators with often far different opinions about economic and political matters.

    I can deal with the optimists who make their points with a reasonable application of logic, whether I agree with their assessment or not. I myself am an optimist, although I realize my optimism won’t change the facts, and so I attempt to assess risk in all things, not just about markets, in as optimistic a manner as I can.

    However, I don’t have any respect and don’t pay any attention to purely willful people, those who are are either optimistically willful, or pessimistically willful. The reason is because both of those types think that just because they can think it so, it will be so.

    Wall Street is to a greater extent dominated by the opinions of people who are expressing their willfulness as outwardly expressed optimism, rather than expressing it as pessimism, because it’s always been Wall Street’s overall mission to default to optimism for the good of business.

    Consequently, Wall Street in general will a-l-w-a-y-s ride the train until the wheels fall off. You’ll therefore never be able to perfectly understand when optimism projected by Wall Street isn’t simply being superimposed by willfulness.

  16. Eclectic commented on Feb 22

    Correction — Should read as:

    The willful person on the other hand will have something of a similar opinion as the optimist, [but] the willfulness they express will be superimposed over it and will pre-suppose the completed journey from the instant they step onto the train.

  17. New York Real Estate commented on Feb 22

    I find this humoring, considering the turn that the real estate market has taken. I just made some posts on this on my blog, New York Real Estate. January was a bad month for the real estate market. Check it out.
    Eric

  18. Mr. Flibble commented on Feb 22

    To Mr. Flibble and TexasHippie: Pretty clever remark about how lazy journalists are. Sure got a lot of empty heads nodding along with you. Except one thing: All those “news stories” about the realtors were written not by journalists but by the NAR press relations office. They are press releases! How do I know? Because I’m a lazy journalist who took 15 seconds to track down the source. You could have done that too, but then your clever quip wouldn’t have worked.
    Oh well, never let the facts get in your way.

    Sigh. That is only true if you googled the titles for the press releases cited in this post. Your evidence in support of our hardworking media is actually a bit deceptive. Google “Lereah” and “real estate” and you’ll find plenty of times he (or his press releases) is used as a source peddling the same hokum you see here in Barry’s post–and in numerous reputable news outlets. Some of the “articles” published are, I suspect, press releases, but the news outlet doesn’t acknowledge this anywhere so I can’t be sure without investigating further. Anyway, publishing press releases as articles is stenography. So, with due respect, I think you’re wrong.

    I’m sorry if my characterization of journalists offends you, Rex. I’ll be more than happy to laud journalists or newspapers (presumably run by journalists) that do more than stenography. So Barry, BRING ME SOME GOOD NEWS!

  19. rex commented on Feb 22

    Mr. Flibble: Your characterization didn’t offend me. I just thought it highly hypocritical (and lazy) of you to castigate journalists as being lazy in this case, when you didn’t do your homework. Sure journalists are lazy, some of them, some of the time. So are some people who anonymously post mindless drivel on otherwise excellent blogs.

  20. CDizzle commented on Feb 22

    Ummm, a basic lack of knowledge IS laziness personified.

    As in…Ignorance = Bliss.

  21. Mr. Flibble commented on Feb 22

    I just thought it highly hypocritical (and lazy) of you to castigate journalists as being lazy in this case, when you didn’t do your homework.

    I was talking about the repeating of information contained Barry’s excerpts from above. I don’t remember mentioning these excerpts as targets for my disgust, except in the context of journalists repeating them as authoritative sources. The media does this. A lot. If you disagree with this, fine. But I have evidence to support my position and ad hominem attacks and mischaracterizations do not make you credible and won’t change the fact that I think you’re wrong (I won’t say mendacious; that would be an ad hominem). If you can offer proofs that journalists in the aggregate, at least in the real estate domain, do carefully avoid reporting as “news” information derived from obviously self-interested and continually wrong sources, then I will reconsider my position. I at least am willing to do that, are you?

    Sure journalists are critical of their sources, some of them, some of the time.

    I’ve amended your thought above for accuracy. I think it was Scott Adams who said that there are two types of journalist (I’m paraphrasing here): One who is appropriately skeptical of sources and investigates truth claims and the other who just reports what he is told. Both types get paid about the same.

    I’m willing to think otherwise when I come across news articles that are informative, the sources credible, and where alternative viewpoints are not merely reported in a he said/she said fashion. There are thus exceptions, but I suspect that reporters who do this sort of work do not work for long in the real estate section!

  22. JM commented on Feb 26

    David Lereah = Dick Cheney

Read this next.

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