Thursday, November 19, 2009

Depends on which part of California.......

For those who wonder why I constantly gripe about how real estate is marketed, Southern California has provided still another example of the need to get it right.

The most recent home sales statistics are coming out around the country this week. Since the Southern California marketplace is not always a reflection on national trends (to put it mildly), I decided to pay special attention to news from the area.

Overall, it appears that home sales have risen and selling prices are down, at least for those who find it significant to compare against previous months and years. My opinion is that there should not be the automatic comparison that people in the industry insist on. In a challenged market, especially, the emphasis from within the industry should be on the positive.

Links are below to some of the articles I reviewed. You can see the issue here. Portions of Orange County clearly show an increase in sales, a positive statistic indeed. Yet, less than an hour drive to the south, San Diego home sales statistics are not bright.

According to the latest statistics, home sales are down while prices are up around San Diego. Granted, you can't twist the truth. But there are times when it could be hidden just a bit. My issue continues to be that realty associations and people within the industry continue to endorse publicity for these negative statistics. We have different realty associations, all with thousands of dues paying members and wanting the same things, counteracting each other by feeling the need to put out the negative along with the positive.

To put it another way, if I were a licensed realty agent in San Diego, I would be furious about the release of these statistics. The smart thing to do would be to release ONLY the positive statistics, such as the portions of Orange County and L.A. County and how the market is looking better on average throughout Southern California. Instead, a potential investor doing even mild research for Southern California is going to pass on San Diego upon seeing the information in question.

Already today, I have had a mortgage lender advertising client of mine, who services Southern California, pass on the San Diego area while still considering Orange County. Based on the research I shared, and I am not at all biased toward one area or the other. He wants the most bang for the buck in an active marketplace.

Of course, there will be regions and communities which do better than others in any real estate market and climate. We should hear about those. It helps to spur interest and attract attention to properties in those areas. But we should NOT hear about the areas that are suffering. It does not serve current home owners well at all. Which I thought local realty firms are supposed to be doing.

Here are some of the articles I explored. With so much difference between one area and the next, the positives are negated, and the negatives sour the overall impression. (San Diego)

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