Monday, March 26, 2007

'How Are We Going to Stand Out?'

From the New York Times:

For newspapers, February was the cruelest month. So far. Revenue from advertising was in striking decline last month, compared with February a year ago, and were generally weaker than analysts had expected.
...
"I’m reluctant to say that a single data point is a trend," said Barry Parr, a media analyst at Jupiter Research. "But those are scary numbers, especially when we’re not in a recession."
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The Tribune Company, whose papers include The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun, reported losses of more than 5 percent. So did McClatchy, whose papers include The Miami Herald, The Sacramento Bee and The Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky.
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In some cases, particularly in Florida and California, they traced the weaknesses to volatile real estate markets.
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Lauren Rich Fine, a media analyst for Merrill Lynch, cautioned in her analysis of McClatchy’s February numbers not to "overreact to just one month of poor performance." Nonetheless, she said, McClatchy’s problems were "just starting." She cited the stark comparison between California’s hot real estate market last February, when revenue from classified real estate ads was up 48 percent, and its weaker market this February, when that revenue was down 20 percent.
From the Sacramento Business Journal:
It's tougher for real estate agents to earn a buck this year; the days are gone when it was enough to stick a sign on the lawn and wait for offers. With sales volume and prices down, agents are having to dust off old marketing strategies and adopt some new, proactive ways of putting properties in front of prospective buyers.
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For agents and buyers, that means an increased reliance on the Internet... As with so many other categories of advertising, a post on Craigslist can come at the expense of a newspaper ad. "I tried this avenue because I wasn't getting results from newspaper advertising," said Cheryl Rouse, an agent with Keller Williams Realty in Sacramento who has started posting on Craigslist.
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[A]gents are having more conversations about what improvements the house needs to put it in show condition. "You've got 25 properties to compete with; how are we going to stand out? In this type of a market, that's what we are seeing more of," said ReneƩ Catricala, a Coldwell Banker agent in Sacramento.
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For agents who have been in the Sacramento market only long enough to see it during the hot years, the new realities might be confounding. One message that could be difficult to swallow is that the hot market was the aberration, not the recent, cooler one.

10 comments:

Steven said...

"You've got 25 properties to compete with; how are we going to stand out? In this type of a market, that's what we are seeing more of,"

How about lowering the price, you fool!! That's the best way to stand out. Let the new buyer do the improvements that are important to them.

cba said...

Nationally, new homes sales down in Feb., new homes sales up 24.6% in the west.

Diggin Deeper said...

Except net down in the west last month was nearly 26%. Not what one would call robust over the last two months. Overall, ANALysts were expecting a national increase of over 6%. They got 3.9 down or a 10% switch. Inventories now at over 8 months. No bottom in sight, no floor to spring from. Not good and getting worse.

Happy Sam said...

On Saturday, I heard one of those "real estate professionals" (pun intended) on his raido show opining about his unnamed friend who's $400,000 mortgage recently reset to $6,000 a month.

Being interested in numbers, I calculated the interest rate - 18%. I seriously doubt the statistics of the "real estate professional" if he believes that story.

But... Keep in mind these are the same pople that last year at this time were saying that there was, in fact, no bubble, and that anyone even repotely suggesting that there was would clearly be priced out of the market forever, because now is a perfect time to buy.

Sippn said...

CBA - yea I'm hearing the same thing, resale pandings up and new moving through inventory in the west at a higher pace.

Diggn - what are you looking at, YOY? Yes national picture slowed down in Feb. What is net of what?

Perfect Storm said...

Sacramento ranked as one of the metro areas that will get nailed due to subprime and now Alt-A meltdown.

fishtaco said...

data, data, data, who cares and it is pointless to argue. anyone with half a brain and bit of common sense knows that until the costs associated with servicing the debt, taxes, etc. of a run down stucco money pit approach the costs of renting the same property the market will remain in the tank. the days of speculating on appreciation are over and many that did are screwed. if the property can't earn income, then it is not worth buying.

cba said...

The bought my first single family home in 1983. It's rent payment would not have covered the costs. While I will not argue that the market is more likely to go down versus stabilize in the near term, single family homes have never made sense on an income method of valuation

Diggin Deeper said...

Sippn

Let's let CAR and NAR skew the data. The latest report on new home sales are a bit misleading.

The same figures for the report last month were that new home sales were down 26+ % in the west. Any increase this month only offsets the poor performance last month on a MOM basis.

Patient Renter said...

"You've got 25 properties to compete with; how are we going to stand out?"

As they say - "It's the price, stupid!"