Home Front

A blog about the economy and the Sacramento-area real estate market.

May 8, 2008
Cities where prices are rising

Being from Sacramento, where home values have been falling for almost three years in many neighborhoods it's always amazing to hear about regions where home prices are actually rising. We heard about that this morning in Dallas from Charles McMillan, president-elect of the National Association of Realtors.

His point to the media: painting the national housing market with a broad brush causes some people to stay on the fence without reason. He cited "robust" markets such as Springfield, Ill., Topeka, San Jose and Syracuse. McMillan is realty relations manager with Coldwell Banker in Dallas-Fort Worth. He said prices are up 8 percent from the last quarter in San Antonio and up 6 percent in Austin and Corpus Christi. After such a long time of seeing prices fall in Sacramento it's amazing to hear about anywhere where they are still rising.

Of course, most of those places never saw the big run-up we saw in Sacramento.

McMillan talked about the sometimes strained relationships between the media and real estate agents who think the media has been overly negative. One questioner from New England asked about the image of real estate agents, however, noting that the National Association of Realtors ran full page ads in Oct. 2006 saying that: Now is a good time to buy. The questioner said that anyone who followed that advice in his part of the country has by now lost all their equity. McMillan kind of danced around that one, but it sure sounded familiar.

All during 2006 I recall calls from real estate agents to voice their concern about the tone of coverage as the market started to stumble. Almost always, they said it: Now is a good time to buy. And anyone who took their advice then has seen their values fall pretty hard. I am not saying anyone is always right or always wrong. But just as the media is often charged with having credibility issues, so too, does that apply to the real estate industry.

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