Sunday, September 7, 2008

Times Real Estate Section Headline Reeks Of Sensationalism

Many times a paper will flash a big headline, but when you read the fine print it doesn't justify the headline. Such is the case with the headline this week on the Sunday NY Times Real Estate section:

"Foreclosure Makes Its Move On Manhattan" (NY Times 9/7/08)

Now that's a pretty sensational headline, but look at the facts presented:

- 1 in 50,000 homes in Manhattan "face" foreclosure- that works out to 0.00002% of all homes in Manhattan!

- Foreclosure filings "jumped" to 93 in July 2008 from 52 in July 2007. Sure, that's a big percentage increase, but 92? That's it?

- Only 1 in 10 homes in Manhattan actually go to auction and are sold in foreclosure, so are we talking about 9 homes being sold at auction?

So the Times makes a heck of headline, but there is nothing behind it. This reeks of sensationalism in my book. You could also see it as borderline irresponsible. Then again, if you took your advice from the New York Times headlines, you've missed the past 15 years of exceptional appreciation.

I'm not saying that foreclosures won't pick up, times are tough. However, if you consider all that we've been through over the past couple of years (sub-prime, credit crisis, Bear Stearns, Wall St. layoffs, weak economy, etc.) perhaps the headline should have been:

"Remarkably, Manhattan Foreclosures Virtually Non-Existent"

1 comment:

  1. I had to smile. Economic articles in newspapers are often so funny. For example, I am West Toronto realtor and in last months, we have been going through some 10-12% (even 14% in the City of Toronto) sales drop. Seems pretty much? At least for the newspapers, which started announcing real estate crisis, bubble burst and I don't know what. But when you continue to read, you realise 2008 sales are actually still 10% higher than in 2006 and price level grew 1%, with no huge new listings flow. Everything is because of the year 2007, which was extremely strong - but now it makes current situation to look as a disaster, at least in minds of some people...
    Jill

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