Home Prices Drop in January – BTW it’s April

Posted by: Louis Cammarosano on April 1st, 2009

The past few days the news has been filled with stories about how home prices dropped in January.

S.F, US  home prices in free fall“  reads one headline.

Twin Cities Home Prices Suffer 20% Plunge” proclaims another.

Home Prices Down 14% year over year” announces yet another.

Talk about ‘yesterday’s’ news!

In January George Bush was President and it was snowing in many parts of the country.

Thousands of homes have been sold since January and Obama’s Stimulus Plan has been passed.

I understand that it takes time to compile data, but January’s home values are not very relevant to today’s market.

Last month HomeGain released the results of our Realtor Home Values Survey. The results were released within days of the completion of the survey.

The survey asked Realtors their opinions on what sellers thought their homes were worth and what buyers thought of those prices.

More importantly, the survey asked Realtors where they thought home prices were headed.

The results were interesting and varied widely by state.

Realtors’ opinions on home values should be give strong weight when determining the asking price of homes.  Afterall, a Realtors’ perspective is often the best one as they are involved with the market every day and take into account data more recent than the January S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index.

Realtors also take into account recent home price data at the local neighborhood level instead of at the city, state, or national level.

January home prices may provide a reference point for today’s home values, but potential home buyers, including first time home buyers, and sellers need fresher home price information to help make the right decisions.

Most importantly, they also need a read on the current market from an experienced Realtor.

Try HomeGain’s Instant Home Values tool

Find U.S. homes for sale and search U.S. real estate

Louis Cammarosano



4 Comments on “Home Prices Drop in January – BTW it’s April”

Heather Lawson

Thank you for this post. I am so sick of negative real estate news. The market is getting better, but I guess negative news stories get eye balls. Let’s be real. NOT real negative :)

Eric Blackwell

@Heather – Yep. And it is, after all, all about them wanting the eyeballs… I am OK with negative news when it is actually out there, but the echo chamber amplifies the smallest echo of negativity while stifling its positive counterpart.

Blatantly re-running regurgitated January stories is simply intellectually dishonest and lazy. Hmmm…and yet they say bloggers are not journalists and not worthy of their status as citizen journalists?



Louis Cammarosano

@ Eric
I don’t blame the journalists for this. Indeed they are doing their job. The Case Schiller data was just released-blame them!

Eric Blackwell

That’s true Louis, in large measure. (I can certainly understand the workload and stress of a reporter at the Star Trib, AJC or San Francisco Chronicle. They are under some pretty severe stress. So dishonest and lazy is unfair. (permission to revise and extend my remarks requested.)

On the other hand, hard bitten journalists often rake into bloggers as “parasites” off of the real news. Their criticism of bloggers is that they do not fact check and are too opinionated and are building audiences by showing only one side of a story. I do not think that is right either.

At the end of the day, there is no doubt that the Case Schiller data is the culprit (we totally agree there), but if I went out and wrote a post on a large blog with January data, it would not be long (minutes) before I’d get told about it and viewed as less than credible.

I think there is some responsibility that the reporter bears as well before granting their audience to the exposure of a story.

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