December 10, 2006

An unintentionally hilarious real estate fluff piece in today's Arizona Republic

Gotta love that Arizona Republic - another dinosaur being disintermediated by the internet, combined with rapidly falling advertising sales as their #1 advertiser - the REIC - blows up. So what do they do to make the homebuilder advertisers happy? Send a reporter out to write about what a great time it is for first time homebuyers in Phoenix of course!

But like Michelangelo inserting hidden messages at the Sistine Chapel, I'd say this reporter served his masters (Republic editors, homebuilder advertisers) while slyly getting the message out that it's actually a TERRIBLE time to buy a home. See if you can find the secret messages!

Rookie home buyers have help - Buying knowledge can yield opportunities

This is a good time for first-time homebuyers to get into the market, real estate agents say.

"I really don't think people should wait too long, because I think things are going to change," she said.

This month, Keller Williams Realty Southeast Valley in Gilbert hosted free seminars for first-time homebuyers, events they plan to offer again Jan. 3 and Jan. 6. No one showed up to the December seminars.

"First-time buyers may not know how good the timing is, McClaskey said. "I do believe a lot of people are scared off by what they hear about the market," she said. "The average person that's not deeply entrenched in it, they have no idea. They think everything's come to a screeching halt, because that's all they've heard."

The Southeast Valley, like greater Phoenix, has about an eight-month inventory of available homes, Rochelieux said. Normally, a healthy inventory is three to four months, he said. Prices dropped this year, a trend Rochelieux thinks will continue. "I suspect we will see another 3-5 percent decline over incremental periods over the first six months of 2007, until inventory's back in balance," he said.


FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

There goes the neighborhood.

The Phoenix HP meltdown is all your fault, Kieth.

he he

keith said...

Real estate meltdown effect #412: layoffs at the Arizona Republic and any other REIC advertising-supported media outlet


Anonymous said...

Jeff and Sarah Mashaw, a married couple attending Arizona State University, are looking to move out of their Tempe apartment and into a home in May, when Jeff will graduate. Before then, they have to save $2,000 for a down payment. They already are learning about purchasing a home through the Mesa-based Housing our Communities program.

No, you don't have $2,000. You have -$60,000 or morein college debt which hasn't made you any smarter!

chris g said...

I think this reporter has done a good job conveying that the market is still not "normal" yet, and that this NAR idiotspeak that it's a good time to buy a home is what real estate agents are saying, not what this reporter is saying. So consider the source and act accordingly.

buzz kill said...

This thing will be the death of many newspapers as the gubbermint bails out lenders, props up housing and the stock market, and pursues more and more pointless wars. Inflation will make paper too expensive anyway and no one who can afford them will buy them because they only print lies. The whole financial system is in its death throes. Buy extra TP.

From the Ministry of Truth:

Unemployment down, inflation under control, 2 + 2 = 5. That is all.

Butch said...

Using my "secret Da Chintzy Decoder Ring", I found the following hidden messages in the text:

1. "Buy now or be priced out forever!!!".

2. "They aren't making any more land in the desert!"

3. "Real estate prices ALWAYS go up!".

4. "Real estate sales clerks are your friends, not like the others".

5. "There's never been a better time to buy!".

6. "Or sell!"

7. "You can ALWAYS trust the REIC. They have NO conflicts of interest!"

8. "Suzanne researched this!"

9. "People who rent are jealous and bitter."

10. "Always think in terms of the monthly payment!"

...and just then, my Secret Decoder Ring caught fire, melted down and burned my little fingers!!!

FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

This thing will be the death of many newspapers
Just in on CNN,
Wall Street Journal To Narrow Its Pages
Industry Hit by High Paper Prices

By Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 12, 2005; Page D01

Already facing shrinking circulation and a flat advertising market, the newspaper industry also has been socked with newsprint costs high enough to force some of the nation's largest and best-known papers to change the way they look and feel.

Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the Wall Street Journal, said yesterday that the Journal will shrink by lopping three inches off its width. Beginning in January 2007, the front page of the Journal, which is now 15 inches wide, will be 12 inches wide -- an entire column narrower. The depth of the page will stay the same, at 22 3/4 inches.


Anonymous said...

Both daily papers in Denver are reducing the size of their pages after the first of the year.

The Denver Post now offers a PDF electronic version of the paper at $30/year.

I subscribed and their servers can't handle the load. I have to reconnect my browser several times to read the Sunday paper. Great idea but apparently they haven't invested enough in the technology to handle it.

Anonymous said...


uknowwhoiyam said...

Real estate meltdown effect #412: layoffs at the Arizona Republic and any other REIC advertising-supported media outlet


That would good. Then the paper could report honestly, without fearing the loss of revenue.

sk said...

Heyy - WSJ didn't reduce their prices did they ? Nope -I didn't think so. This is an inflation rate of 20%. Although the Washington Post reports that the news "hole" ( interesting that THEY think of the content as a hole - the ads no doubt are the doughnut) was reduced by only 10%.

I used to read the WSJ for almost 10 years - back in the days when it was a honest business orientated true conservative newspaper and not a shill for the neocons.


FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

They (WSJ) actually say the reason for the size reduction is to make it easy for their readers to hold the paper. Pretty transparent, I think.

foxwoodlief said...

Been emailing a craigslist home in Avondale, Arizona. First the guy calls the house custom because he put in upgrades and a pool. I emailed to tell him what custom, semi-custom, track homes are and his house wasn't custom or semi-custom just because he upgraded his interior design. Second his price, thought he was offering a bargain as "I have more upgrades and a pool than the last house down the street that sold for more." He wanted $419,900 for a 2500 sq ft house that sold new in 2002 for $189,000 plus any upgrades and pool minus the free pool or $12,000 in upgrades being offered on that house at the time (my best friend owns the same house down the street). I told him what was up in Ft Meyers, east coast, Sacramento, LV, that there were 57,000 homes for sale in metro Phoenix, tons of spec homes, builders offering discounts (but not enough in my opinion) and newer homes a little further out in Buckeye (yes, another 20 minute drive to downtown) were now being offered for $249,000 for 3200 sq ft and all he could say was, "Your wrong. Prices are not coming down, maybe 10% until the excess is absorbed, then will march right back up." His home is probably worth between $250,000 and $300,000 depending on his upgrades, inflation adjusted at 3% for five years from the original purchase price, but not $420,000!

Still, in his area, someone might pay $250,000 loaded but no more than that as the homes already look dated and are only 4-5 years old, the soil they build on is expansive (and they didn't use tension cables in the foundations) and has a severe salt problem leeching at the concrete and coming up in the yards. That alone would keep me from buying there.

The trip out over the holiday will be an eye opener to see first hand the mood of the valley and what bargains or lack thereof I will find.

BB said...

"hosted free seminars"

"No one showed up"

Diana said...

Sad, but true. It's great if you're an investor, though. Or like to buy foreclosures. I did have a friend that bought HUD home in Arizona just this last summer and actually made a good deal.

Chonus A. McDonald said...

Yeah, and they's even started saving $2,000 for their down payment.

If they buy, they'll get fleeced at every step.

Anonymous said...

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