NY Times Shivers at Cooling Housing Market

     Since before 9/11, the media have been warning us about the dangers of an exploding housing bubble. But rather than a calamitous drop in prices fulfilling a prophecy of doom, The New York Times has found a far less dire situation. And it wasnt even happy with that.

     Real estate is becoming a buyers market in much of the country, report Times writers Damon Darlin and Vikas Bajaj in their May 9 article.

     Darlin and Bajaj noted that prices have not fallen in any of the 375 largest American cities tracked by the PMI Group, a company that tracks risk in the real estate market. The Times writers went on to cite experts who found house values increasing at a slower pace than previously.

     Even so, Darlin and Bajaj spun their article in a negative light.

     Many Americans who planned on real estate as their path to wealth are beginning to find that there are limits to how high is up, Darlin and Bajaj opened their story.

     It is getting tough out there for sellers, they continued, adding that while Few people are losing money after the run-up in housing prices that the air is coming out of the market.

     Even so, taking a loss is still rare for sellers, because homes appreciated so much in the 1990s and 2000s, the writers conceded.

     Since 2001, the media have typically forecast a more dramatic bubble burst.

     A housing bubble may be developing right behind the Nasdaq bubble, BusinessWeek worried in a September 2001 editorial. Influential New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote or cited four of 6 media reports in 2001 that referenced a housing bubble, the Business & Media Institute (BMI) reported on Nov. 30, 2005.

     For more on the medias history of promoting the housing bubble storyline, see BMIs November 2005 Media Myth report.