The first headline is by Eliot Njus of the Oregonian (print version, I can’t find it online). The second is Wendy Culverwell’s of the Portland Business Journal. Both headlines refer to yesterday’s release of the July 2011 Case Shiller Index. The two articles are an complete study in contrast. The Oregonian article leads with the Index being up, though barely, for the fourth consecutive month and then discusses the fact that over the last 12 months the Portland real estate market has dropped 8.4%. The Business Journal story is all about the twelve month decline in the first half of the story.
The Business Journal story was a part of the DailyUpdate email I get daily from the Biz Journal yesterday afternoon. I had this comment, posted on their site yesterday:
The headline is a half truth because dread sells. Portland home prices drop 8.4 percent [OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS]. That’s really not news (your headline reported 9.6% last month). It takes half of the article to get to the Case Shiller Index being up for the fourth consecutive month. That’s the news. Why isn’t it the headline? Try being positive, just once. The market, which won’t stop no matter how good or bad it is, will take years to recover (and it may or may not be starting right now as Blizer states). Short sales and foreclosures made up 35% of sales in the second quarter of 2011 in Portland Metro. That sucks (for lack of a better term) but it also means that 65% of sales were non-distressed. A lot of the news is bad, but not all of it.
There’s no saying when the Oregonian story went to press as it was on my doorstep this morning but it was nice waking up to a more balanced headline.
The Case Shiller Index is released the last Tuesday of every month for the month two months prior- yesterday’s report was for July. “Portland” is the seven county MSA from Yamhill to Skamania County and everything in between.
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