Does the media have ANYTHING good to say about Real Estate?
I was recently interviewed about Indianapolis Real Estate by CNN Money for a November publication date. In having many dealings with the media in the past I've learned that you must have your facts 100% straight and present them in a clear and concise way. In essence it's like a politician speaking to the press which frankly isn't much of a surprise anymore. Business has boiled down to politics in many cases anyway. The questions that were asked were inflamatory and certainly had a direction. "Why has Indianapolis' equity growth become so anemic?" "Isn't it a terrible time to buy real estate in Indianapolis?" "Doesn't being the most affordable major city in America for homes become a disadvantage at some point?" I must admit I had to laugh at that last one. Frankly since Jim Cramer went on his tirade about Indiana real estate on the Today Show a couple of weeks ago I was surprised I hadn't gotten these questions sooner.
Cramer is the loud mouthed media darling who blathers away every night on his 'Mad Money' show on CNBC. Cramer pontificates on everything from stocks to real estate in his holier than thou mode of making every minor financial detail a looming crash and burn. He's taken the trouble to appear twice on The Today Show with Matt Lauer and both times has been less than generous to Indiana real estate investors. Most recently he was on with the National Assocaition of Realtors president who calmly and politely recited statistics while Cramer rolled his eyes like a teenager being questioned about their 3000 text messages in a month. Cramer's job is to stir up, create controvers and exacorbate the obvious to develop television ratings. What he either fails to understand or could care less about (more likely) is that people's liveliehoods can rise and fall with the headlines he creates.
Look it's no secret what I do for a living so that being said I do have an opinion that does have some degree of bias. Post disclosure, here's what I believe to be true based on many, many outside observations of our real estate market in it's current state. It's what I said to the CNN Money reporters and numerous other media pundits over the last several months:
"Those individuals who purchase real estate in the Indianapolis market in the next several months will look back on it as one of the best financial decisions of their lives."
There are those who are more optimistic than I am and have offered those opinions freely. Moody's Financial has repeatedly listed Indianapolis as one of the top five cities poised for a huge financial rebound in it's housing market. At the top of their list:
1. Dallas-Fort Worth (through 1st Q 2009) - Growth rate: 6.4 percent
Growth rate (through 1st Q 2009): 6.3 percent
"Indianapolis is riding a few trends that are bringing about an early recovery in its real estate market. While Indiana's capital city did join in the housing boom this decade, prices didn't reach the stratosphere. Indianapolis still suffered through the downturn, though: Building permits for new homes dropped 30 percent from their peak in 2005. But the housing market hit bottom earlier here than in most parts of the country - during the last quarter of 2006. Now, with the local economy poised to grow faster than the national average over the next two years, house prices are projected to post a respectable gain."
For those naysayers, and there are many, mark this time down. Let's have this talk again in 24 to 36 months. Let's have it again in 60 months. Time will indeed tell if hysterical television talk show hosts or sound economic decisions will rule the day in our real estate market.