The National Association of Realtors® released its monthly Existing Home Sales report for August 2006 and, as usual, you should be ignoring it.
The report discusses real estate on a national level and we all know that real estate is a local phenomenon.
It’s not that the report isn’t helpful — it is. The Existing Home Sales report paints a broad picture of our nation’s housing market which has implications for the economy as a whole.
The reason why the EHS report is not helpful to individual homeowners is because the process of buying and selling real estate is not a national occurrence — it’s a very, very local one.
When you buy your next home, you won’t be buying a home that exists in all 50 states. You’ll be buying a very specific home on a very specific street in a very specific neighborhood.
So, when the NAR — a national group! — reports that home supply is up and home sales are down, it is lumping every street in every town together into one giant chunk of irrelevant data.
Again: real estate is a local business, not a national one.
On the “street” level, the story can be much different from what the general reports tells us. Locally, there are plenty of areas in which there is a shortage of homes and in which property values are increasing.
This is why “national” real estate stories in the papers are often wasted ink — accurate real estate stories are the local ones.