Monday, March 26, 2007

TV News Hyperbole

Mrs. DocLarry came home about 5:30 and informed me KOLR/KSFX microwave truck was set up in the new subdivision just south of us, its mast extended. So we flipped on over to KOLR10 for the 6 p.m. newscast to see what was up. Reporter Yvette Mitchell was preparing to do a story on new home sales, and the incentives being added by some realtors to try to boost sales.

During the LIVE portion of her report, Mitchell said, "There are four homes for sale on this block alone," gesturing to the "for sale" signs visible behind her. One might think this particular neighborhood had a lot of homes for sale. And I guess that's true. But this particular neighborhood is all new builds. It's a new subdivision, Catalpa Station. The four houses Mitchell referred to are one side of one block, all constructed in the last six months.

I don't know if it is unusual for these houses to still be on the market, given the time of year in which they came on the market. I do know that the developer has started construction on at least seven more houses in the subdivision just this month, and there are likely about 20 lots remaining to be developed. So it seems a bit exaggerated to suggest that four homes for sale on a single block in a new subdivision is indicative of the housing market in southwest Missouri.

My guess is the reporter/videographer/producer chose that particular block for the LIVE shot specifically because it had those "four homes for sale on this block alone." In otherwords, for the visual which fit the hype of the story: new home sales fell nationwide in February.

Wonder if Catalpa Station's developer liked the report? Especially with the soundbite from the Century 21 agent (Carol Jones is the realtor for Catalpa Station) noting homes aren't moving as fast because they're overpriced.