Throughout the year, various government agencies, organizations, economists and real estate think tanks release statistics and analyze the data to tell us how the housing market is doing. And often these stories become front page news or the lead story on the evening news, with additional snippets all over the internet.
Even though it’s been said you can’t believe everything you read, the truth of the matter is that most people do just that. If they read it, hear it or see it and if it seems like a reputable source, people will believe it.
I can’t tell you how many times a client has come into the office with a gloomy face after hearing about or reading some discouraging housing-related news. “I was brushing my teeth and heard that sales dropped 5% last month.” Or…”I saw a headline on Yahoo saying the market was stagnant.”
But we always remind people that when it comes to residential real estate, markets are Hyper-Local, which means that what happens in Nebraska, Florida or Iowa often has very little bearing on what’s happening in Benicia, Vacaville or Pleasant Hill.
By 2014, the recession was over and the real estate market was hotter than a firecracker here in the Bay Area. Prices were appreciating at a breakneck pace. Yet in Detroit and Cleveland, the recession still had a stranglehold on the housing market and homes were sitting on the market for months and months.
So the government’s housing reports back then, which combined data from housing markets nationwide, told a far different story than what we were experiencing here in the Bay Area.
Which is why it’s important to take much of what you read in the national press when it comes to housing with a grain of salt. And why it’s much more important to get your real estate news from local sources (such as this Blog!).
Even here in California or the Greater Bay Area for that matter real estate activity can vary from locality to locality. The market can be sizzling in the Silicon Valley but tepid in the Central Valley. Or it can be slowing in Marin or the Tri-Valley but brisk in Vallejo or Fairfield.
Simply put: the more hyper-local the data the more accurate the story.