Earlier this week a report by Zillow produced a flurry of “news” stories predicting a second housing crash. Yesterday I posted Are home prices falling? to point out that even if prices have been falling in other places Austin residential real estate continues to outperform most other major U.S. metropolitan areas.
Today, RISMedia published an article offering a more complete, and accurate, view:
That piece includes an important bit of wisdom from Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS®:
“The reading of quarterly price data can be volatile because they are based on the types of homes that are sold during the quarter. When buyers principally purchase distressed properties in a given market, the recorded prices will be very low, which is what we’re seeing now in much of the country,” he says. “Annual price data provides a better guide about the direction of the market in those areas.”
It is disappointing how respected publications knee-jerked to the “sky is falling” conclusion based on one report from one source, when other information is readily available. Aside from pointing out the fact that the Austin/Central Texas market has experienced the past four years very differently from most other large cities, I have been writing through much of that time to counter the wild swings in daily “it’s up – it’s down – who knows where it’s going” journalism about the housing industry. Sure, NAR has a dog in this hunt, and I have not always agreed with their market interpretations or their political positions, but I am confident that NAR provides a calmer, more objective viewpoint on this subject than the other articles earlier this week.