David Langlois

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 I'm starting to think that perhaps the Times Colonist has taken a short position on real estate in Victoria.  How else do we explain how they have taken what should be a good news story and turned it into a bad news story.  

You might or might not have heard that Re/Max put out a report that summarizes the past decade of activity in major Canadian real estate markets.  The upshot is that Victoria had an annual compounded rate of return of 7.6%, outpacing the national average.  Pretty good news.  Here's The Headline :

HOUSE PRICE COOL-DOWN EXPECTED

What?  Here's the TC's story summary as I read it.  

Over the past decade the market has fared quite well, it's unsustainable over the long run (as opposed to a decade-how long is the long run anyways?) so prices will come down. Err, actually, prices won't come down they'll just not go up as fast, and may only go up a point or two more than inflation for a while.  Maybe.  Or maybe not.  But whatever we're saying we would like you to focus on the negatives that haven't yet happened but could.  So be afraid.  Very afraid.

My particular favourite line in the story is the "...possibly calling into question the post-war mantra that buying real estate is a surefire investment...".  Are we seriously still in a post-war period? Is the implication that a 65 year market trend is ending.  I guess little has happened in the housing market over that period other than a straight line rise and only now are we seeing market fluctuations.  Seriously folks, get yer head out of yer ass.  

If this is how reporting is to be done, here's some headlines we should expect:

"CANUCKS SET TO LOSE MORE GAMES THAN THEY WIN", analysts agree that their winning pace is unsustainable for the remainder of the regular season.

"NEXT RAINFALL TO CAUSE WIDESPREAD FLOODING" ,should it not stop before rivers overflow their banks, analysts agree.

"NEWSPAPERS HAVE LITTLE CREDIBILITY", as they struggle to come up with daily headlines to alarm readers into buying their rags say some analysts.

Actually the last one makes sense.

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David Langlois

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