It never ceases to amaze: the way media news briefs can state a set of facts that, despite being literally accurate, leave listeners with a mistaken impression. For local homeowners making up their minds whether the timing is right for putting their own North Georgia homes up for sale, this last week provided a fine example.
One newscast in particular would seem to be misleading. It’s true that when measured against the same period a year earlier, the national home sales levels had been weak. That made the one news blip that came over the satellite radios in many North Georgia autos all the more convincing. Listeners might have concluded that throughout the country, potential home buyers were staging a disappearing act. That kind of discouraging news could well put a damper on those contemplating putting up their own North Georgia homes for sale.
The real estate item was the final one in Friday’s on-the-hour news, which repeated hourly. The announcer’s voice delivered the bad news in matter-of-fact tones: “New home sales tumbled last month, dropping almost thirteen percent. Higher prices combining with a limited inventory sidelined many would-be buyers.”
When you’re thinking about selling your house, that’s hardly encouraging news—even if you’re aware that statistics can be interpreted seven ways from Sunday. The announcer’s rapid-fire delivery would have had all but the most careful listeners convinced that they faced a significantly difficult market—one that “sidelined many would-be buyers.” But the first word in the brief was critical: “New.” The “tumble” in sales affected only new home builders—probably because enough hadn’t been built!
The actual real news had been released by the National Association of Realtors® on last Wednesday. Existing home sales had “surged by 2.5%” in July! And June’s sales numbers were revised upward. Several analysts were quoted as opining that “U.S. housing markets seemed to be bolstering…”
Actually, given the phenomenon of July’s cut in already bargain-basement mortgage rates, a RISE in home sales activity was hardly unexpected.
For local homeowners aware of the fuller picture, the prospects in today’s market are welcoming. Of course, whether (and when)—to put your own North Georgia home up for sale is always a multi-tiered decision. It’s based on any number of personal and financial considerations. But fear that all the home buyers are “sidelined” should definitely not be one of them. I hope you’ll call me for the latest on our own local North Georgia activity!