Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

This just in: Ford says this year’s Fords totally awesome

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on April 3, 2007

While I’m in a Times-bashing mood, why is it that the paper of record thinks it acceptable to write “articles” on the state of real estate that feature wall-to-wall broker commentary? Why would they bother talking to brokers at all? What do they think — the president of Corcoran is going to have a moment of honesty and break down in tears about how doomed the market is? How does this qualify as journalism, and not just extra advertising? Here is an example of the “evidence” used in a recent REBNY advertisement parading as “news” (all emphasis mine):

…selling in Manhattan rose in the first three months of this year, according to data released yesterday by several of New York City’s largest real estate brokerages.

“In the second quarter, I think we’re going to see more appreciation because of the high level of activity” early this year, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel, an appraisal firm.

“People were holding back a little bit more a year ago,” said Hall Wilkie, president of Brown Harris Stevens, though he added, “Anybody who was holding back, isn’t.”

“You are paying a substantial premium for that fourth and fifth bedroom,” said John Burger, a managing director with Brown Harris Stevens and a specialist in these high-priced apartments…

Frank Percesepe, a Corcoran Group regional vice president based in Brooklyn, said that so far there have been takers for the thousands of units that have been completed. “The more inventory that we’ve been getting, the more inventory we’ve been selling,” he said.

Every. single. quote. was from a biased source (appraisers are obviously going to do more business in a market with lots of turnover, so it’s in their interest to get the buyers out there and prices popping). This is New York, people — they couldn’t even find a bloody real estate research analyst at an i-bank? And this isn’t an exception, it’s the goddamn rule with NYT real estate articles… and it’s infuriating. They even admit that this method of “research” is moronic:

While all of the brokerages reported that sales volume increased in the first three months of this year from the fourth quarter of 2006, they reported vastly different numbers. Several companies reported a 10 percent to 12 percent increase, but Prudential Douglas Elliman reported a 42 percent increase.

Hey, our entire article is based on completely unreliable and utterly useless data! But look at how excited all these brokers are! Don’t that just warm your hearts?

This sort of lazy and irresponsible journalism seems to get worse every week. I mean, next thing you know, the media will be quoting GOP operatives to discern the truth about the GOP’s election chances. Naaahhh.

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