Watch Out For the Bad News

There has been a bunch of bad economic news in the business & other press in the past couple of weeks that seems to be getting everyone in a ‘woe is me’ state of mind. Be careful of this attitude trap. Pay close attention to the details of what is being reported since most of the current round of economic data is only as current as the end of 2008. Is there anyone out there who expected good economic data after the market crash in October and November?

Yesterday’s housing price news was a great example. All around the ‘net and in print were stories echoing the headline that values fell 15% last year, a number greater than expected. First the expected number was only fractions better, and more importantly, the expected number could not have taken much into account about the realtor’s reports in November and December, when listings plummeted and refinance exploded.

There is still too much inventory for prices to rise. This isn’t good news but the fact that prices fell 15% last year is nothing more than recognition of what we really already knew. It’s a tough time to sell a house, and the sales price better reflect the market instead of the seller’s needs. Again, if this is news to anyone, congratulations on the four-month nap you’ve been taking.

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