US News and World Report Shows Home Values Plunge 91.48%

Real Estate Agent with Joe Manausa Real Estate 8508880888

Home Values Plunged 91.48% … or that is what you might believe if you were unfortunate enough to trust the journalism standards of Yahoo! Finance. In what can only be described as gross negligence, Yahoo! published an article from US News and World Report on what it felt was the top 10 bargain retirement spots in the US.

According to this work of fiction, Tallahassee is the 2nd best city for retirees to buy a home because our home values dropped “91.48%”  between 2009 and 2010. In her story from 2/22/2011, Emily Brandon states

Housing prices are declining fastest in Portland, Ore. (-92 percent), Tallahassee, Fla. (-91 percent), and Tucson, Ariz. (-88 percent).

The article shows in its data source that the current median home price in Tallahassee is $149,000 and thus through extrapolation, we presume Ms. Brandon must believe that the median home price in Tallahassee, in 2009, was roughly $1.75M. Based upon my experience as a 20 year veteran of the Tallahassee real estate market, and the publisher of the most analytical newsletter on local real estate market conditions in Tallahassee, I can say with a fair degree of certainty that our median home price in 2009 was not $1.75M (actual average single family detached  home price in 2009 was $192K).

Now mind you, if it were just a numerical slip-up, I would just pass it off as sloppy journalism and editorial oversight. But she used this information as the foundation of her article.

image of rats jumping off a sinking shipMs. Brandon believes that seniors will get bargains by moving away from where they live and heading to markets where values have plunged by as much as 92%! Think about that for a second … If values are plunging off the charts, doesn’t that mean that the rats are jumping from a sinking ship? Do you really think there will be a healthy environment to be found by seniors in markets that suffer this level of distress?

The article by Ms. Brandon only serves to reinforce my observation that numbers don’t lie, but people do, which was published, ironically, right about the same time as the article in US News and World Reports. I would strongly recommend, regardless of your market of choice, that  when deciding  whether to buy or sell a home, that you find the local real estate market expert who continually provides charts, graphs, and analysis of the real estate market. If you’re not sure, just let me know and I’ll tell you who I would work with in that market.


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Maureen McCabe
HER Realtors - Columbus, OH
Columbus Ohio Real Estate

Reminds me of when the Forbes reporter had the list of 10 real estate markets... a negative list but she mangled the math.  Zillow was involved.  It had to do with number of homes on Zillow for a market increasing?  Not inventory in a market but number of real estate listings on Zillow.   I remember the word "worst" was involved.     Denver made the Forbes list. Some real estate bloggers questioned the math. The mayor of Denver got involved and the misinformation was first edited and then disappeared I think. 

Feb 28, 2011 02:35 AM #29
Stephen Gaudet
Gaudet Inspections - Manchester, NH

Joe,  Thanks good to know and watch.

BTW great blog

Feb 28, 2011 02:38 AM #30
Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i

Hi Joe. I have Google alerts for real estate articles and am glad that you addressed this issue since Brandon mentioned Tallahassee. Who else to go to for reliable and accurate real estate advice? A reporter or you. The answer is clearly YOU. Cheers.

Feb 28, 2011 03:34 AM #31
Renée Donohue~Home Photography
Savvy Home Pix - Allegan, MI
Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer

This is precisely why I want to blow the vein in my neck every time I listen to "the news".  News is old school.  I go for local blogs to get the real scoop!

Feb 28, 2011 03:55 AM #32
Monique Combs
Royal Shell Real Estate - Bonita Springs, FL
Royal Shell Real Estate - Monique Combs

The old saying, Don't believe everything you read, holds true.

Feb 28, 2011 04:19 AM #33
Cory Barbee
San Diego, CA
Broker (760) 563-4022

Pretty typical with the media...fear sells..I think people are gettng smarter as to what to believe

Feb 28, 2011 04:20 AM #34
Sandy Myers
Golden Realty Company Inc. - Hanover, PA

Do you compile your market graphs manually from MLS data or do you use an online service for those reports? Thanks!

Feb 28, 2011 04:35 AM #35
CJ Johnson
David Weekley Homes - San Antonio, TX
Sales Consultant - Build On Your Lot @ DWH

So who are you going to believe?  Today 2-28-2011 it was reported that NAR made a "slight" mistake and had to adjust their December home sales downward.  The original report said sales were up 2%, but wait, opps, what we meant to say was they were actually down 3.2%.  This is why the public needs REALTORS.  We know our local market and can tell them the truth provided we are not attached to the outcome as my trainer taught me.  Your report of on skewed numbers is right on the money, Thanks for the great post.

Feb 28, 2011 05:10 AM #36
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

I've attacked articles from the NY Times and other sources as inaccurate when they report on my markets as well.  Los Altos Hills is often listed as one of the top 5 most expenses towns in the country and the data they use is almost always wrong.

Feb 28, 2011 05:37 AM #37
Stephen Gaudet
Gaudet Inspections - Manchester, NH

On yahoo finance site

Warren Buffett Is Bullish ... On Housing: "He's Putting His Money Where His Mouth Is"

Feb 28, 2011 05:42 AM #38
Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556
William Raveis Legends Realty Group LLC - Tarrytown, NY
William Raveis Legends Realty Group

It be laughable if it wouldn't be so sad... once upon a time news reports where actually true... or where they ever?... nowadays it's only sensationalism that is of interest... or is it that people cannot do their math anymore?...

Well, like everyone else here already stated... you better contact your local Realtor for true statistics and information...

Feb 28, 2011 05:45 AM #39
Chris and Berna Sloan
Group 1 Real Estate - Tooele, UT
Tooele UT

Sadly, the core purpose for the media has moved from reporting the news, to creating the news. As bad news sells better, that's what they create. There is obviously no accountability anymore, because the more it looks like tabloid, the better the circulation. I love your "look out your window" phrase. It's all about having good info, and spreading it where you can to counter the garbage that's out there. Great post!

Feb 28, 2011 05:55 AM #40
Larry Costa
Century 21 Classic Gold, Carver MA - Carver, MA
Realtor, Carver MA Real Estate

One would think these articles are checked before going to print or web. Surprising!

Feb 28, 2011 06:39 AM #41
Bill Burchard
3B Realty: 951-347-3818, CA - Murrieta, CA
Broker, Realtor, Representing Buyers and Sellers

Hi Joe. So, has the Shadow Inventory finally hit the Portland, Tallahassee, and Tucson markets? ;)

Feb 28, 2011 07:19 AM #42
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Joe,  Great ( and funny ) post.  Hopefully, this analysis was passed along to our friends at Yahoo Finance ?

Feb 28, 2011 08:12 AM #43
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

I'm so glad you wrote this.


I read with particular interest the Portland market -- since it's where I am based.  For property values to be off by -92% that would mean that the AVERAGE home was priced over $3,000,000 to have a 92% drop in value.

Hmmm . . . averages vary, and in some higher-end locales it was $500,000, on average.  Typically $250,000 average.

Homes might be closing 92% OFF LIST PRICE, compared to last year . . . but that article is WHACK.

WHACK . . . and I'm sure the little Miss Reporter is NOT EVEN LICENSED . . . so how the hell does she get off reporting on things real estate?!?

Feb 28, 2011 08:18 AM #44
Jill Riley
Crye Leike, Chattanooga TN - Hixson, TN

Bad journalism is right.  I'm so tired of writers saying how bad the real estate market is.  It will never recover with all the bad press out there.  Thank goodness I have clients that don't believe these ridiculous articles.

Feb 28, 2011 08:27 AM #45
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

There are so many things wrong with the article you mention, I don't know quite where to begin.  It's media such as this that is prolonging the mess we're in.  So very negative.  Interpretations that are completely misleading or out-and-out falsehoods.  Those outside of the industry trying to act like they know and understand.  I could keep going.  All we can do is take issue and point out the errors and falsehoods (lies) as they occur and hope that the public is paying attention.  You definitely did your part ...


Feb 28, 2011 01:35 PM #47
Patrick White
Home Driven Realty, Inc - Baldwin, NY
Driven to bring New Yorkers home

Good Morning Joe

Thanks for the post and information. Have a great day.

Mar 01, 2011 12:09 AM #48
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

In today's world, it is essential to check all media facts.  The amazing thing is: not many people take the time to verify information.  Thanks for a tremendous post!

Mar 01, 2011 03:39 PM #49
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