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Average home prices INCREASE in Pinellas County Florida

A headline this morning in the St. Petersburg Times business section read, "Home prices show a big drop." No, not really – but you need to read beyond the headlines to see how they arrived at their conclusion, and how they slanted the data from the Associations of Realtors on both sides of Tampa Bay.

Here’s the content of a letter I wrote to the editor today:

Are you intentionally printing only the bad news about housing? You’re also comparing apples and oranges in this article. If the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors only keeps track of average prices instead of median prices, why not show the average prices from the Pinellas Realtor Organization, which shows both?

Pinellas average single family home price
November 2006:   $269,500
November 2007:   $281,900
Change: + 4.6%

Pinellas average condo price
November 2006:  $233,000
November 2007:  $246,900
Change:  + 6%

That’s a very different picture than the one shown in your headline. Why not headline the INCREASE in Pinellas County home prices in the last year rather than joining the "doom and gloom" that’s so prevalent in the press?

Reality is what it is – let’s show both sides of the picture.

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