Fellow blogger and respected voice of real estate, Jonathan Miller is blogging today at Matrix about something that he and I share as a pet peeve: There Is No National Housing Market.
The use of national housing statistics has been a key source of confusion for consumers, real estate brokers, lenders, media, financial markets and government agencies among others. The statistics are often applied to local markets and properties. The reliance on these numbers for ground level use has been a pet peeve of mine for many years.
And mine as well. What I find interesting is that now that markets across the country are experiencing some dramatic drops in pricing and activity, the real estate community as a whole is embracing the reality that real estate is local. This concept didn’t seem to be a focus for the NAR or economists while these same markets exploded over the past decade. The National Housing Market was robust and booming. The National Housing Market was defying all odds. The National Housing Market was a great place to invest. Now that these statements aren’t true in many markets across the country, we finally appear to accept and acknowledge that real estate is local? Referring to RadarLogic’s own report (which for the record Jonathan has always acknowledged that real estate markets are local), Miller quotes:
The report effort was based on the premise that there is no national housing market; rather, each of the MSAs, while having some economic influences in common like mortgage rates, is influenced primarily by local conditions.
Jonathan goes on to point out that other major real estate organizations are finally acknowledging that specific markets across the country are behaving differently. The Office Of Housing Enterprise Oversight [OFHEO], the NAR, and the National Association of Home Builders have all recently commented on the housing market from a different and more accurate perspective. Hard to not say that this shift in perspective seems incredibly self-serving. That said, I just hope that when markets across the country begin their rebound that these organizations don’t go back to reporting on the National Housing Market because now we all agree that ‘it" doesn’t exist.