I know we have talked about this a good deal lately, but this issue won’t go away. The main stream media, especially one CNBC reporter seems to provide a negative view on everything housing and mortgage. Barry Habib of MBS Highway has called her out repeatedly for her consistent negative comments and what is worse, failure to acknowledge the actual facts of our industry. I will refer to “Negative Nancy” in regards to the entire main stream media that continues to vilify the housing and mortgage industry, and not just one specific reporter.
The “Negative Nancy” media has made it a point that all news, no matter how good, must be a problem and a sign of an ongoing housing problem. When even seriously positive news is in the numbers, it seems the headline or focus must be made to a point, slanted to make the reader believe there is something wrong with buying a home or taking a mortgage. Unfortunately, this view of an entire industry is a great disservice to those who would benefit from significant opportunities.
The facts are clear, people still want and need to own homes. Mortgage rates remain a significant value and in MOST markets in this country, owning remains cheaper than renting! Listed inventory is holding back greater purchase activities because of qualified buyers who WANT to buy a home are having trouble finding a home available for sale that they want to buy! Prices are solid and rising at a very sustainable rate, NOT wildly rising, but when housing prices grow between 4% – 7% in general, that is not threatening of a housing bubble at all!
What is much more confusing is that there is no longer the panic of the dreaded “shadow inventory”. “Negative Nancy” media was all over the fear that this monster underlying problem was going to rear its ugly head and send us back into a housing recession. So where is this entire shadow inventory? If all of these properties are sitting empty, why, given the demand for houses, would all of these banks be sitting on all of these homes losing money every month? The answer is, there isn’t this huge number of homes sitting vacant.
Another rant of “Negative Nancy” has been that the market activity is fueled by investors buying homes all cash. If that is true, than how do you explain that conventional purchase mortgage loan applications are at their highest point since 2014? All cash deals are going DOWN!
As an industry, we need to be certain that the consumer has ALL the information so they can make an informed choice. There is nothing wrong with renting. There is nothing wrong with owning. Sixty-five percent of people will tend to own where they live. Renting has advantages, but owning over the long term has proven to be one of the best investments the average consumer can make.
As industry experts, we must be aware of all the information and share strategies that help our clients make informed choices. We must also spend time sharing information with those who may read an article or see a report who are not being given all the information, or are getting the information from “Negative Nancy” media that consistently slants information to the downside, while playing down or ignoring to upside.
The housing and mortgage industry are doing well and buying a home still remains a significant part of the “American Dream” for most people. We all need to be honest and open with all of the information. When the message is distorted, regardless of in which direction, someone needs to take the other side of the issue and share the information. The “Negative Nancy” media is making the case against buying a home. We, as professionals need to provide the other side of this story so the clients can make their own choice as to what is best for them.