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Editorial – Consumers Ignore Pessimistic Headlines

Terry RyderThe key messages in property market data are being distorted by organisations with the motivation of achieving media profile rather than informing consumers.

The latest statistics show that house prices continue to rise in 12 of the 15 market jurisdictions (8 capitals and 7 regions) but the headlines claim prices are falling across the nation.

The latest “pain and gain” report shows that the vast majority of vendors are making a strong profit and the rate of gain has risen in most market jurisdictions, yet media reports tell us that the rate of gain has dropped.

Even when the data is overwhelmingly positive, businesses publishing the information will emphasise any negatives in the figures because they believe that will maximise their chances of free publicity.

It means that Australian consumers are being misinformed regularly about housing markets. And the forecasts published by economists suggesting big drops in prices are exacerbating the problems.

Fortunately, a survey by Finder indicates most Australians are ignoring the pessimistic headlines: the survey finds that very few consumers think property prices will fall in the next year.


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