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Wall Street Journal continues its incessant anti-buy-a-home campaign

Posted by John Reed on

The spin war on home prices gets more comical by the day. Today’s WSJ has a front-page graph showing median home prices set a new record at $416,000 (NAR existing homes) in June.
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But the printed headline said “Record Home Prices Hit Sales.”
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Do you know who cares about home “Sales?” Realtors®. I used to be one in the 1970s. They get commissions—one per sale. Fewer home sales means fewer commissions.
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It used to be that mass media reported on home sale prices because every homeowner and would-be homeowner cares greatly about home values. For most Americans, home equity is the main component of their net worth and retirement security.
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I do not remember the mass media reporting regularly on the number of homes SOLD per month. No one cares other than Realtors®, title insurance, and mortgage companies. It is inside baseball, trade journal news.
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So why are we suddenly getting monthly reports on the number of home sales? Because the Wall Street Journal and other mass media are looking for something negative about home values in this time of negative stock, bond, and commodity values and interest rates.
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There is NOTHING negative to say about home values.
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So they prefer to become Realtor® News and talk incessantly about the poor Realtors’ seeing the number of commissions drop for the fifth straight month.
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The Page A2 article accompanying the graph is headlined “U.S. Home Sales Slow As Costs Increase.”
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Note that word “Costs.” What we used to call home “values” or the “prices” at which we could sell our homes is now a “cost.” Higher “costs” are bad. Higher home values are good if you are a homeowner and the main financial motive for BECOMING a homeowner.
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But the Journal, it would appear, now believes the main concern about home sales in America is the number of them the poor Realtors® can sell. We get monthly breathless reports now on the decline of the Realtor® business.
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There is an implication that the number of sales going down is bad for homeowners. But that is apparently NOT true. The median existing U. S. home price hit a new all-time record, up 13.34% in the 12 months ending in June 2022.
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I came out with a book last year titled An American Principal Residence is the Most Advantaged Investment on Earth: Maximize Yours! So does an appreciation rate of 13.34% support my book title or does it tell you to avoid investing in a home?
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The Journal wants you to think you should avoid investing in ANY asset. And they are doing their best to prevent you from getting into position to collect that 13.34%. And if you just bought a home for 20% down a year ago, your return on investment was not 13.34%; it was 5 x 13.34% = 66.7%!
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$400,000 x 20% = $80,000 down. 13.34% x $400,000 = $53,360. $53,360 ÷ $80,000 = 66.67%.
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I see number like 13.35% annual appreciation and highest U.S. home price ever at $416,000, I say HOORAY! Buy a home with a mortgage.
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The WSJ says, in the first paragraph of its story:
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“The U.S. housing market is rapidly cooling as record prices and rising mortgage rates weigh on home sales, locking out potential buyers.”
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The BS artists spouting this nonsense are David Harrison and Nicole Friedman.
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So which is the “housing market?” The prices at which homes sell or the number of them that sell per month?
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If it’s the sale prices of homes. saying it is cooling is like saying a 1,000 yard sniper bullet is slowing as it passes the first 200 yards market in its flight. Ooookay, but it is still going 5,000 feet per second. Using words like “cooling” or “slowing” for a house going up in value at 13.34% a year or a bullet going 5,000 feet per second is obvious misleading spin, not fact.
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And what about that phrase “weigh on home sales?” If home sales prices are going up at a double-digit annual rate, one of the highest such bursts ever recorded, it is disingenuous to suggest something is “weighing on” home sales. And note we are again focusing on that Realtor® News number of commissions paid metric.
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Finally, we have “locking out potential buyers.”
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So who the hell bought the homes for $416,000? Wouldn’t the people who bought them be called “buyers?”
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Oh wait, only some “potential” buyers were locked out. If the properties offered for sale were more or less all sold, why are we worrying about “potential buyers who were locked out?”
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As I said, I used to be a Realtor®. Young couple wants to buy a home. They start looking. If prices and/or mortgage interest rates rise during their search—a fairly common occurrence—they find more money to put down, lower the size home, and/or decide to buy farther out homes. I was one of them on occasion.
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If you are not feckless, you deal with obstacles like these and drive on to your goal. But the Democrat party endlessly tells us all we are eloi, victims of evil GOP forces beyond our control, who must vote Democrat to survive whatever the current crisis is.
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The narrative is there are now NO good investments. And if those damned home prices are not yet falling well they will soon.
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The article goes on saying people who “want to buy are priced out” (lie from Lawrence Yun, Realtor® chief economist). If that is true, who is paying the $416,000?
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Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi said the housing market is “frozen” (another lie) and that “buyers cannot figure out what it the right price.” If that is true, who is paying the $416,000?
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Almost 15% of sales under contract fell through in June. If that is true, who is paying the $416,000?
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I will not quote all the idiots the Journal quote basically saying or implying that there are no home buyers in America.
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You have heard the glass half full or half empty analogy. The home as an asset glass is about 95% full and the Wall Street Journal talks about almost nothing but the other 5% to turn you against buying a home.
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In the third from last paragraph they admit average time on market is down to 14 days, the fastest since 2011. Through all the “bad housing news,” I sense that there are actually some invisible, impossible buyers out there somehow paying that $416,000.
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Bunch of @#$%^ bulls•••!
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