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CNN or Local Data – Who To Believe? Put Away Your Broad Brush and Get Out Your Sharp Pencil.

Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2012

So this morning on the CNN Money page we see the  headline “Inside Florida’s Foreclosure Crisis.” Interesting because one, I live full-time in Florida two, I am a REALTOR at Coldwell Banker, three I am good with numbers and four,  I see a good local real estate market here in Naples, Florida.  I also read another headline from a different source stating nationally we are doing great. What is going on here?

Wake Up! All real estate is local. Hyper-local, like building by building and neighborhood by neighborhood. The CNN video in question investigated one city in Florida (Jacksonville in this case) and attempted to draw conclusions for the whole state. They say ”Florida now suffers from plummeting home values and rampant foreclosures.” Let’s be fair to CNN here.  To their credit they may be right about one city but to draw the conclusion implied by their state-wide headline that the entire state is “plummeting” is a stretch and seems like a good way to sell newspapers (or attract eyeballs) to me. If the headline said “Jacksonville now suffers ….” I would be OK. The facts are Naples, Florida, and other areas are doing just fine.  By the way, our heart goes out to Jacksonville and the hard working and good people there.

So what are the facts? By the numbers Naples real estate is doing well. As reported this week and in past weeks supply is down, prices are rising and tourist season here is doing well. We do have some concerns with overall volume trends in our local market but the Naples real estate market is much improved over the 2005-2009 period. Anyway, CNN paints with too broad a brush.  You cannot take one town’s data and extrapolate trends for an entire state.  Painting with a broad brush in real estate is not a good idea.

Nationally there is some great news but don’t make the same mistake CNN did. Do not read a national trend and draw conclusions for local markets from this other news source. The other source, RealtyTrac reported national foreclosures are at their lowest level in four years. They reported “a total of 2,698,967 foreclosure filing actions – default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions – reported on 1,887,777 U.S. properties in 2011, a decrease of 34 percent in total properties from 2010. Foreclosure activity in 2011 was 33 percent below the 2009 total and 19 percent below the 2008 total.”

Ok who do your believe and what does all this really mean? Get with a local REALTOR and know your local market before buying or selling. By local I mean your neighborhood, your street, your condo building. Get local.  Really local. Only then will you have a good feel for the properties you own or wish to buy. Put away the broad brush and get out a sharp pencil.

No legal or investment advice or suggestions are being given in this Blog. Actual real estate price and sales results are subject to market forces and are not completely predictable. Please consult a lawyer or investment advisor for such legal and investment advice. The writings of this Blog are intended for the sole use of our clients.

Mark Goebel, PA is a REALTOR with Coldwell Banker on 5th avenue in Naples, Florida with 35+ years of visiting and living in Naples. After 25 years at Accenture, Mark retired as a managing director and spends his time helping non profits and building a Naples real estate team with his wife Nan. Talk to Mark and Nan about life in Naples and why they chose this place to live full-time over all others and enjoy Naples real estate.

Mark Goebel, PA
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