Where Bottom-Fishers are Fishing?

Posted by: Chris Palmeri on August 26, 2008

realtor.com

Home search site Realtor.com gives us a list of the markets showing the biggest increase in searches on their site in July, versus the same month a year ago. It’s worth noting that these markets are among the hardest hit by the housing bust. Las Vegas, Miami, Naples, Sacramento. Realtor.com’s overall traffic is up 22% this year. These cities are seeing increases double or even quadruple that.

What this tells you is that a lot of people are starting to bottom-fish in these markets. Whether that leads to a bottom in housing prices remains to be seen.


Stockton-Lodi, CA 140.9%
Las Vegas, NV 93.9%
Riverside-San Bernardino, CA 86.3%
Oakland, CA 73.6%
San Jose, CA 71.4%
Fort Myers-Cape Coral, FL 69.5%
Naples, FL 66.2%
Sacramento, CA 65.0%
Orange County, CA 62.8%
Miami, FL 56.7%

Reader Comments

Sean Giorgianni

August 26, 2008 10:52 AM

This is incomplete. How is traffic being measured? How does the improvement compare to any overall changes in internet browsing habits? What's the time period? How do visits compare to growth/contraction in internet users?

And what's with the numbers? What the heck do they mean?

Realtor.com will do anything to spur buyer or seller interest. I'd gladly turn in my REALTOR(r) card if allowed.

Imagine if the American Dental Association reported something like this, "The number of times Americans chewed their food in July rose 22%". Must mean people are interested in more food, right?

Ridiculous.

ballbuster

August 26, 2008 7:13 PM

Palmeri's journalism is now exposed as a paid info-commercial for Realtor.com. Printing Realtor's company logo on top of this article is certainly not an innocent coincident. Using the number of "hits" on Realtor.com's web site as evidence of "bottom fishing," Palmeri prematurely concludes that web-surfers are looking to buy real estate at perceived bottom market. However, an equally compelling argument is that homeowners with up-side-down ARMs are checking the housing prices in their community for an early warning bell to abandon ship before it's too late. They, the web-surfers, are not potential buyers but are tenuous survivors waiting to jump ship. They all have seen the consequences of leaving too late in cities such as Las Vegas, NV, Stockton, CA, San Diego County, CA, Riverside County, CA, Miami,FL, Phoenix, AZ, etc, etc. Other equally compelling reasons for web-surfer visiting Realtor.com: determine the amount of home equity in their own home; determine the neighborhood's financial stability for existing and future business; determine whether it is economical to remodel their existing home; real estate agents doing home price research, etc, etc. Of course, Palmeri ignored other plausible explanations for thousands of "hits." Using Palmeri's logic, readers would erroneously conclude that web-surfers who visits Amazon, Ebay, WalMart, GM, Ford, Toyota, etc, etc are all eager buyers fishing for the lowest prices. Did anyone tell Palmeri that people may be just curious or need product information? When Palmeri's journalism is tainted with commercialism, readers should question his credibility and intent. The real estate bust has produced many desperate sellers resorting to any means to unload their pink elephants on the unsophisticated. The big real estate businesses have hired Madison Avenue to stage a full-court press to convince people that it is safe to "invest" in real estate. Hence, readers are bombarded with, "home prices have hit bottom," or "there's only so much land on earth," or "don't make your landlord a millionaire," or "get a piece of American dream," or "start buying now because there's a stampede to buy at bottom market." Palmeri's last sentence, "Whether that leads to .....remain to be seen," is the best CYA ever written by him. Unfortunately for Palmeri and BW, the more Palmeri posts infocommercial masquerade as news, the more BW is judge as a deceptive medium for advertisers.

Jay Thompson

August 28, 2008 12:06 PM

Have to agree with the comment above. That's quite the leap to make the claim that increased searches = bottom fishing. There are countless other factors that may have lead to the numbers reported.

But then again, those reasons probably aren't quite so sensationalistic...

Barry Cunningham

August 28, 2008 4:37 PM

Nice info Chris...I figured the usual suapects would come calling when they read this. Thing is those of us in these markets already have been aware of what's been going on and are seizing the unbelievable opportunities that this data shows.

Bottom fisher or not ..that is irrelevant. Buyers are coming back!..At leaset we see it in these numbers and are realizing it in our markets.

Jay Thompson

August 28, 2008 9:01 PM

Have to agree with the comment above. That's quite the leap to make the claim that increased searches = bottom fishing. There are countless other factors that may have lead to the numbers reported.

But then again, those reasons probably aren't quite so sensationalistic...

Louis Cammarosano

August 28, 2008 9:08 PM

In certain areas, esp where there are plenty of foreclosures, sales volume is picking up so I don't see why it would be hard to believe that searches in these areas are also up.
If the searchers are not drawn to the lower prices, how else would you explain the surge in visits to these areas?

Sue Emlak

April 22, 2010 2:20 PM

Thanks for guiding me through this. Rarely do I find good entries that would walk me through.
Great post.
www.turkish-property-world.com

Basak Burcu

April 22, 2010 5:06 PM

Thanks for guiding me through this. Rarely do I find good entries that would walk me through.
Great post.
www.turkish-property-world.com

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About

BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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