Tami and Steve's I-94 Minnesota Real Estate Blog: BEWARE OF HOUSING HEADLINES!

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Friday, April 18, 2008


For the past year, it seems all housing news has been "bad" news. A case in point is the headline in our local St. Cloud Times recently blaring a huge ($20,000) decline in home values in the past year. Accompanying this article, oddly enough, was an Opinion Poll asking readers to respond to whether they believed their house had declined in value in the last year.

Examine statistics.

  • What, exactly, is being analyzed? A case in point with the local headlines: the statistics quoted to decry the seemingly huge decline in value were based on median sales price, a statistic confusing, if not unheard of, to the public and useful mainly to statisticians. When the public sees the "median sales price" being quoted, they read "medium" or "average" sales price--something very different. (In this case to the tune of $14,647.)

  • Where was the study taken? Another case in point with the local headlines: the reader couldn't tell what area the statistics applied to, but the reader assumed St. Cloud and the most immediate surrounding area. If the statistics were instead based on the entire MLS area, (18 MLS zones vs. 8 locally) for example, the decline quoted would have dropped considerably and probably would have been more relevant. In addition, on a national level when statistics are quoted, they are often skewed by markets which work very differently from your local market, being dominated by heavy populations on both East and West coasts with specific variables which may not affect your area. (Co-op housing, for example.)

Be an informed and critical reader.

  • Case in point in the local article: if the front page headlines constituted a news story, why was an opinion poll conducted on the readers' beliefs about whether there was a housing decline? If the stats were factual, why would opinions be relevant? Do we run opinion polls accompanying whether we believe (or not) that three people actually were killed in a local traffic accident?

  • Examine slant or bias in the story: if housing prices went down in the past year, is the logical conclusion that this is bad for the consumer? (Does anyone, for example, benefit in the current market? Answer: of course! First-time homebuyers, for starters.)

  • Housing statistics quoted may be provided by an economist vs. a real estate expert. Be advised: the financial (stock) market and real estate market are two distinctly different animals that seldom resemble each other in predictability.

Headlines can be frightening! Train yourself to read "between the lines" and seek out additional information. And as always, consult your real estate professional to help you make wise housing decisions.

# posted by Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen @ 1:46 PM

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Saint Cloud, MN Real Estate | Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen
About Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen's Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota, MN Real Estate Website: The www.I-94homes.com web site provides Saint Cloud, Waite Park, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St. Joseph, Clearwater, Clear Lake, Avon, Albany, St. Augusta, Rockville, Coldspring, Righmond, Becker, Rice, Royalton, Little Falls, Monticello, St. Michael, Albertville, Rogers, Otsego, Maple Grove, Buffalo, Annanndale, Rockford, Corcoran, and Central Minnesota, Minnesota real estate information and resources to guide homeowners, homebuyers and real estate investors through the process of selling and buying a house, condo or other realty property in the Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota area. Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen (sometimes misspelled as Tammy DiLand, Tammi Deeland, Steven Hanson or Stephen Hanson) have services to help you get the best value for your Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota home and this website offers home buyers and home sellers a superior comparative market analysis (CMA), a way to view real estate and MLS IDX listings including virtual tours, prepare your home for sale, and more. Investors looking for real estate investment properties to invest in need look no farther. Anyone selling a home, buying a home or seeking housing can learn more about our realty services, and will appreciate working with   Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota REALTORs who know  the area so well. Through trusted partners, we also provide real estate and financial services to consumers looking for houses for sale or selling their home in Saint Cloud and Central Minnesota, MN, such as mortgages, credit history, new homes, foreclosures and other services. If you've already tried to go the for sale by owner (FSBO) route and find you are needing a partner who you can trust in the sale of your most precious asset, Tami DeLand and Steve Hansen can take care of your special needs. It really doesn't matter if you spell it REALTOR, Realator or Realter, realty, realety or reality, real estate or realestate, Tami and Steve speak  your language.
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