It’s a good time to buy wine (It’s also a very good time to whine).

With all the sharp discounts available, I just bought my first large flat screen (and Apple TV which is essential for maximum enjoyment) and found that it was a good time to buy (not at Best Buy, which wasn’t).

If you are reading this blog, you are interested in following the real estate economy, and are familiar with the tired mantra from the real estate brokerage industry “It’s a good time to buy real estate” presented as relevant advice no matter what the market conditions actually are. NAR has a formal public awareness campaign called “Good Time To Buy” There are, of course, plenty of naysayers in the current as well as any market. Let’s break it down.

Which market type is the best housing market to buy in?

  • Rapid price growth
  • Modest price growth
  • No price growth
  • Modest price decline
  • Rapid price decline

Pretty simplistic, right? Yet that’s the framework of the conversation. Visit one of those markets and there are plenty of reasons to buy or not to buy. Is it price? affordability, future plans, employment outlook, etc. It’s not all about the market trend.

I think where the real estate brokerage industry (primarily NAR) has gone wrong has been it’s general unwillingness to be candid in any of these 5 scenarios. Yet there are many agents and brokers who have always been forthcoming and they will do well in any housing market.

Do you notice how NAR is not sought out in the media much these days as a “trusted advisor?” It’s been relegated to basic press release coverage at each existing home sale report release.

Blaming the media (whining)

Is there good media coverage and bad media coverage about an event cycle like housing?

Of course.

Few in the real estate brokerage business were complaining about the media cheering of rising housing prices during the early days of the boom. When the news turns negative, the brokerage industry turns a critical eye at the media. However, I see general real estate media coverage as somewhat predictable, but certainly not unfair

Media response to housing trends

  • Rapid price growth (cheering)
  • Modest price growth (cheering)
  • No price growth (skepticism)
  • Modest price decline (critical)
  • Rapid price decline (critical)

I think much has been said and dissected about housing since peak a few years ago. Yet here’s a new trend in news coverage: It’s a good time to buy.

Are we seeing the beginning of a contrarian news cycle?

Has the negative cycle gone on so long, readers are getting bored and want something new to read about?

Is it a good time to buy?

Another flat screen is starting to seem like a good idea.

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5 Responses to “It’s A Good Time To Buy A [Fill In Blank]”

  1. Nadine says:

    The media needs to have new news in order to get readers and sell ad space.

  2. Edd Gillespie says:

    While “It’s a good time to buy” is not the only thing I would criticize NAR and its offspring for saying, it does seem unreasonable to expect a real estate agent to say “It’s not a good time to buy.” That is sort of like telling someone “Don’t get an appraisal.”
    Actually thinking back, I’ve done that a couple of times. No doubt I need my head examined. I can only hope the reason the media isn’t quoting NAR is because the Media has discovered that NAR has long ago squandered its credibility. Ya think?

  3. The Miller — Just when you thought (I hoped) it could not get any worse, here’s a Realogy guy quoted in today’s Inman News, as a prelim to Inman Connect in January:

    “[Inman Q:] What is the biggest problem in the real estate market today, and how would you fix it?

    “The media have pummeled our economy and the housing industry mercilessly and have whipped up fear and unrealistic concern. We continuously seek to have Realogy executives speak on news shows to provide a more accurate picture of the housing market.”

    [that was “Ben Phillips, vice president of new products and research for the Realogy Franchise Group, is also managing director for, a Realogy-operated site that allows searches for open-house events scheduled across the country. The site, which is also open to non-Realogy brands, offers e-mail alerts, interactive maps and a route-planning tool”.]


  4. L'Emmerdeur says:

    Realogy is going chapter 11 any minute now. That stock is a good short at any price.

    As for flat screen TVs, the manufacturers themselves are predicting retail price drops of up to 30% in 2009. Ahem.

  5. Nice to hear from you L’Emmerdeur. Looks like I might need a few more TVs after all.