First there was NEWS, then there was FAKE NEWS, now welcome to INCONSISTENT NEWS!
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t read several property articles in the news, usually by the six news sources. When reading that many stories about property two things can happen, you can gather a lot of knowledge on a lot of different aspects of property and then you can become confused by the sheer amount of the information at hand. Having been in the property industry for over 30 years I feel qualified to identify when certain patterns emerge in news stories that do not match up with what is occurring in the actual day to day property market.
With content hungry media outlets these days and an ever increasing reader public to consume that content, there is huge pressure to pump out as many stories as possible to harness the power that the internet provides to advertisers with click through rates. Undoubtedly, over the past year or so in Brisbane, one of the major threads for property news stories has been the unit market and off-the-plan properties in general. Many of the reports have been focused on the over supply of units and the fall in demand from buyers wanting to buy the units.
It does seem though, with every two gloomy stories to come out about the unit market there will be one that is optimistic. Last week, I read about the slowdown in construction approvals and approved developments being shelved, as well as the oversupply of units possibly taking longer than expect to be ‘soaked up’. The same week I watched in disbelief as a TV news story aired about the benefit of buying off-the-plan properties and how you can possibly double your deposit by the time the building is finished. It stated “buying off the plan was a great way for first home buyers to enter the market”. If those first home buyers were wanting to make their first purchase an especially risky one, then enter the current market and ‘buy off the plan’. The people that will benefit from that purchase will be everyone but the poor old first home buyer.
Although the above is one example of the inconsistency that exists in the media about the property market, there are plenty more that boarder on, or people may perceive as, advice. The average reader can either take property articles as they come and treat them as a potential conversation piece over their next cup of coffee. Or if they are looking for research and information about a market they are either interested in or currently looking to buy in, they must look not only behind the headlines, but look behind the news. This means to investigate both fact and figures they source themselves, or wear out shoe leather doing the rounds of properties and agents personally.
The unfortunate part about the amount of information that is published about property and the markets in general, is the amount of misinformation that swirls in amongst it all especially in today’s day and age of social media, technology and the ability to gain information NOW! It appears that we have lost that ‘personal touch’ from the professionals who actually possess the knowledge. They are the people that live and breath the market, those that are at the coal face working in it and studying it day in and day out. It is not the journalist that writes the property story on the overheated unit market one day and off-the-plan as the best way for a first home buyer to enter the property ladder the next.