Fantasy in the Real Estate Business

Submitted by Rich Toscano on March 13, 2008 - 9:58am

Have a gander at some of the nonsense that flowed from a recent gathering of real estate agents and their friends, as reported by the North County Times.

The last portion of the conference, a question-and-answer session, admonished the media for depressing consumer confidence by focusing on only the negative aspects of housing data...

George Chamberlin, a panelist at the event and columnist for the North County Times, said that some news reporters biased their reports because they are jealous of homeowners.

Most real estate agents who spoke at the conference seemed to agree, with one agent suggesting that agents and builders pull all advertising from newspapers until positive articles are printed.

It appears that the desperate and completely discredited gambit of blaming the media for the housing downturn is still with us.

Let's go over this one more time.


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Submitted by JWM in SD on March 13, 2008 - 10:49am.


"It appears that the desperate and completely discredited gambit of blaming the media for the housing downturn is still with us."

Oh and they also blame us too Rich. Just take a look at the latest troll posting from this morning by Vertigo.

Submitted by capeman on March 13, 2008 - 10:51am.

Please do pull all RE Agent and builder advertising... I'm sick of seeing fake smiles of lying/money-bloodsucking agents plastered all along the freeway.

Submitted by jpinpb on March 13, 2008 - 11:20am.

It drives me crazy when they try to blame the media. Even if the media just stopped dead in their tracks and didn't mention one thing about housing prices declining, it will have no affect on the defaults and foreclosures and lawn ornament for sale signs and people not qualifying to buy b/c of tightening credit standards. I guess next they will blame the appraisers for considering the REO sales price which are bringing down comps.

And another thing. People in the media don't own homes? None of them? They are ALL jealous?

Submitted by slothurston on March 13, 2008 - 12:17pm.

Bitter Reporters !!! What a joke LOL

Submitted by Andy on March 13, 2008 - 12:43pm.

...that some news reporters biased their reports because they are jealous of homeowners

LOL - that one takes the cake. I needed something funny today. I can't believe someone would even seriously suggest that with a straight face.

Submitted by cr on March 13, 2008 - 12:57pm.

Let's see-

- First there was no bubble
- Then the bubble popped only b/c because people said prices would come down
- Then foreclosures skyrocketed and prices plummeted but only b/c tight credit markets made it hard for people to buy
- Now the media is driving the market lower by only focusing on bad news

Maybe that's because there's only bad news, at least to someone who didn't understand the term adjustable.

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on March 13, 2008 - 1:56pm.

Full circle :
Anyone else remember those who complained that the media was to blame for causing prices to continue to go up ?

Those people were as nuts as those who think the media is causing the current decline.

Seems we are coming full circle.

Submitted by stansd on March 13, 2008 - 2:07pm.

The NAR needs to set up a market for it's members similar to the CBOE housing futures market. There is a ton of money to be made by NAR members, and many piggingtonians that would happily take the other side of said transactions.

I wish there was some easy way to call these dirt bags on their bull shit.


Submitted by davelj on March 13, 2008 - 2:43pm.

Rich, I actually spent about an hour the other day using the search function at the San Diego Daily Transcript and I've got several additional Chowderhead vignettes, quotes and dates from the last couple of years that, in addition to your own treasure trove, could make an interesting "retrospective" piece. Something on the order of "George Chamberlin - San Diego Real Estate Investment Guru: A Retrospective". Anyhow, we can discuss further when you're back from South America. Enjoy.

Submitted by Diego Mamani on March 13, 2008 - 5:18pm.

I guess it's human nature to 'blame the messenger'. During the crazy bubble years (2003-2005) some RE bears blamed the media for inciting people to buy overpriced houses using toxic loans. Some referred to the "MSM" in nasty terms as being biased pro-RE and unobjective because of the RE ad revenues.

Now that the bubble has bursted, the RE crowd blame the media! Perhaps the media is objective after all: Their reporting may have a time lag, or they may err sometimes (aren't they human?) but the way housing bears treated them at the peak of the bubble, and the way the REIC treats them now is unfair.

Isn't it time we give reporters a break?

Submitted by 34f3f3f on March 13, 2008 - 6:08pm.

Diego, "time lag" to the power of ten. They were probably sitting and watching this thing unfold, nobody wanting to put their neck on the line, until it was so obvious, that not to report it would have been negligent. However, what is interesting is how it is reported my different media. CBS offers little palliatives to help ease the suffering, in a kind of silent recognition, while BBC World fires with both barrels from a safe distance.

The media can do an awful lot of good if you can get them on the publics' side. The damage they do is when they write rubbish that they know we secretly prefer to read.

Submitted by Mr. Drysdale on March 13, 2008 - 6:26pm.

I'd like to see a blog devoted to the foolish ramblings of Georgey-boy

Submitted by temeculaguy on March 13, 2008 - 9:56pm.

It's quite clear that the culprit is none other than the fact that it was a group of realtors, not a cross section of society, no opposing opinion. Sociologists call this "groupthink" and it has a rich history of insane results.

Bay of pigs, Shuttle Challenger, the Holocaust,and now the panel of Realtors.

Submitted by rockclimber on March 14, 2008 - 10:53am.

Hey Diego, I tend to agree with you. The UT had a series of articles with some very good data on lending practices in the summer of '05. Why do I remember? Because it helped me do some risk analyses which led to my decision to sell in late '05. Of course, the data & opinions on Piggington helped too. It is human nature to throw stones at anyone who disagrees with our opinion. And when we are shown to be right (or wrong), we rewrite history (in our own minds) to match reality.

Submitted by rockclimber on March 14, 2008 - 11:01am.

Temeculaguy, you are right. And groupthink can start to happen on a user forum too. That's why I like piggington a lot, because it is so grounded in data (most of the time). Nonetheless, it's important to seek many perspectives and apply judgment to find the truth.

As I mentioned, the UT did publish some articles before the bubble burst that outlined the riskiness of the market at that time. I think most people just had blinders on.

Submitted by cashflow on March 14, 2008 - 1:01pm.

I can't believe that anyone at this point wouldn't realize that this is cyclical and we are coming from an outrageous credit driven bubble! I'm glad to see the media finally reporting wants really happening and hopefully this will bring things back in line with affordability.
I think at this point, after the fallout is really seen on this, the realtors and mortgage industry play the blame game as they don't want the microscope on their business and how the game is currently played. I'm just surprised there hasn't been more outcry on how the whole industry is so screwed up and this needs to be fixed so we won't let this kind of scenario play out again.

Submitted by jpinpb on March 14, 2008 - 1:46pm.

I did not blame the media when they reported the rising prices of homes. How can anyone blame them when they report the declining sales and prices.

If they report that it's going to rain this weekend, do we blame them for the rain?

I can see all the journalists now doing some fancy rain dance. And I was looking forward to a sunny weekend. Damn them all!

Submitted by patb on March 14, 2008 - 5:58pm.

if the realtors pull ads then the media will juststop
sucking up to the realtors.

its a cycle when the realtors have money hey influence coverage

Submitted by ucodegen on March 15, 2008 - 10:13pm.

When I read and hear of this type of finger pointing.. I can only think of one thing.

The NAR is setting itself up for one hell of a class-action lawsuit.. against it! Considering how litigious the United States is, I am surprised it has not happened already. This may be due to the other big entities who are also getting hit.. were also in on the shell game.

Submitted by barnaby33 on March 16, 2008 - 10:47am.

Diego Mamani, the MSM were and still are overwhelmingly bullish about real estate. You see articles about foreclusure rates, but no real deep investigation about the roots of the problem. Its up to the blogosphere to hash out the full story.


Submitted by LV Renter on April 1, 2008 - 5:19pm.

Imagine how trong the market would be if all realtors that are currently getting foreclosed upon or selling homes came up to date on all payments and pulled them off the market. Further since this weakness is all perception they should each buy an additional property. The housing collapse would be over. I do not see this as an impossibility since they all bought multiople properties at higher prices in 2004.

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