Hawking Up Hairballs

Thursday, February 12, 2009

In Denial

"Up until now, people have been pretty resistant to external data about the housing market and have continued to say their homes are doing quite fine," said Stan Humphries, vice president of data and analytics for Zillow in Seattle. "The events of fall 2008 with bank failures and large companies going out of business marked a turning point in many people's heads about what's actually happening. The fact that the economy is having larger troubles makes them more aware of what's happening to home values."

Still, people remain optimists when it comes to real estate's future prospects. More than two-thirds (70 percent) of homeowners believe their home's value will either rise or stay the same during the next six months. That's far more cheerful than any economic forecast, even that of the perpetually upbeat National Association of Realtors.

The passage above is from the San Francisco Chronicle. Seventy percent of homeowners believe their home's value will rise or stay the same over the next six months. Where are these people living, Lollipop Land? I've read a few pieces by those who wonder why people aren't in the streets demonstrating over the current financial situation and the way the Wall Street bandits are screwing them over. It's because they still believe that things are magically going to turn around. We're the city on the hill. Why wouldn't they?

Have you seen those ads after the Superbowl where the unseen announcer says to the winning quarterback, "You've just won the Superbowl. What are you going to do now?" And the quarterback duly says, "I'm going to Disney World." They ought to make ads like that for people who are being evicted from their homes. The sheriff's just finished putting all their stuff on the curb, and the announcer asks them what they're going to do. They can tell him they too are going to Disney World, because that's where they're living in their minds if they think this is all going to pass without real pain on the parts of lots of people.


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