Andy Sentgeorge

Bad list to be on

This article has been knocking around on Forbes for a few days – Tomorrow’s Real Estate Trouble Spots, and it’s surprising how few comments it has generated. This excerpt is specifically about Atlantic City, and while I know very little about valuation in New Jersey, there is something more global that is bugging me.

“Since the late 1970s casino-rich Atlantic City, N.J., has been a beachfront escape for poker aficionados and Keno-loving retirees from Philadelphia, Northern New Jersey and New York. Today, buying a home in Atlantic City is a gamble. Of 315 cities measured by Local Market Monitor, a Cary, N.C.-based real estate research firm, the Atlantic City metro is expected to experience the largest drop in home value over the next 12 months.”

The article goes on to describe several other communities that for various reasons are expected to face ever worsening home values. There is too much rich debatable material in the article to get into in this post, but it has gotten me thinking…

Everyone with a voice seems to be in a rush to predict the next market trend. Unfortunately, the market conditions of the past few years have tenderized our outlook and we are desperate for direction. Let’s be careful to not create harm to a community by projecting our own perspective onto it or by over – interpretation of data. What I mean is, there are lots of communities that appeal to lots of different people, and their reasons vary widely – too widely to distill that data into a report that will then affect market behavior. Real Estate Agents are regulated against this type of “steering” activity.

By publishing this, Forbes has really done a disservice to the communities on this list. I should probably change the title to just “Bad List”.