Nattering nabobs of negativism

I am flummoxed by the headlines I keep seeing regarding NAR’s pending home sales index released the other day.

facepalm “Pending Home Sales Index Slips Badly in April,” says DSNews. “U. S. pending homes sales fall 5.5 pct in April,” according to Reuters. “Pending Home Sales Index Declines In April,” is Fox’s headline. Even NAR itself says, “Pending Home Sales Decline in April but Up Strongly From a Year Ago” — burying the important part in the second half of the hed.

What the heck does it take to get through to them? Month-to-month numbers don’t matter. What’s important is what happened year to year.

The headline should be: PENDING HOME SALES ARE UP 14.4% IN APRIL.

But for some reason too many news sources jump on those almost-meaningless monthly comparisons.

When the market was tanking there would be headlines like “Home sales increase in July,” even though they were actually down from year to year. Those false rays of hope were as bad as this unnecessary hand-wringing over a short-term change.

Watch the year-to-year numbers, folks.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
This entry was posted in The Buzz. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Nattering nabobs of negativism

  1. Joe vita says:

    From a real estate practitioner’s standpoint, general trends are just that, a very general indication of something. As a result they offer very lkttle value in our business practice. A more relevant perspective is provided by an examination of the trends within the overall yearly and monthy reported trends on national, state, & especially local levels. For instance: What value ranges are/aren’t moving? What percentage of total sales are REO sales?. What is the trend in new listings and new construction? What is the trend in original list prices and eventual sales prices? What is the trend in short sales? What is the trend in the age, style and neighborhood location of home sales? All of this type of information can be of great value to the local agent when it comes to accurately pricing properties for listing purposes as well as for advising buyer clients. Educated pricing and more accurate advice for our clients should result in more sales. That only comes with knowing about more specific trends within the general trends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *