Sunday, March 17, 2013

What's the deal with the Globe and Mail's changing real estate headlines? Better than the outright BS from The Province we suppose.

It's one of those things that drives real estate watcher's crazy.

The media comes out with an extremely bearish real estate news headline (which perfectly captures the essence of the story), and before long it changes... and the change is much more neutral in tone.

What's the deal?

The latest example is a story from the Globe and Mail covering the dismal February real estate numbers.

The article starts off with the bad news:
The flicker of optimism that sparked in Canada’s housing market when January sales outpaced December’s has died out, erased by a notable drop in February.

Last month’s declines were significant enough to prompt the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) to cut its sales outlook for 2013 on Friday for the third time since last summer.
As you can see by the image above, the G&M originally headlined the article "Real Estate market outlook dims as home sales plunge". (hat tip Greater Fool blog)

Ominous indeed.

If you google that headline, google's search still turns up the link:

Click on the link, and you are still taken to the online story BUT now the headline has changed.  Here is the new version:


Why did we go from the ominous "Real Estate market outlook dims as home sales plunge" to the decidedly neutral "Clouds gather over Canadian housing market"

Is it the result of Industry pressure?

Seems odd since the Globe and Mail has been at the forefront of identifying the realities of what's currently happening in the housing market but how else to explain the change in tone?

Meanwhile, as Greater Fool succinctly notes, the real estate industry is busy desperately trying to manipulate public perception in the face of disastrous results.

This from Friday's Vancouver Province (on line version here):

From real estate sales 'plunging' to real estate sales 'finally recovering'?  How does a headline like this even get published?

Wonder it this one will get syndicated all across the nation like the fake mansion photos?

We deserve better than this from our print media.


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  1. They are A/B testing their headlines looking at click-through-rates, this is the new thing that most news organizations have started doing in the last year. It won't be long until they cater headlines to your browsing patterns on their website in order to increase the length of your visits.

  2. Re. the Province: a half page R/E "article" and a half page R/E advert. on the same page. I think that explains it all.

  3. That bit of "news" is just a bit of garnish for the
    Van City ad.

  4. I am pretty sure that Province bit is an advert. At the end of the article is tells you to be featured in the Focus to contact them, there is no author credited and a big Vancity ad.. what you are seeing is much like those sections that look like news but say advertising on top. I am sure FOCUS is just a more discreet (read deceptive) way of the RE industry pushing message out in the MSM.

  5. I presume the papers still have a big real estate section which is their last big advertiser along with the car dealers with their 80 month 0 % 0 down"loans".
    Who owns all the newspapers now anyway?I've lost track.

  6. So the industry is "finally recovering". That horrific 2012 year of "flatlining" prices must have been hard... LOL

    The story looks like it was placed there to support the ad, and probably was fully made up.

  7. Fake buyers buying fake houses in a fake market.

    This city is getting weirder and weirder as this market tanks.

  8. Hmmm.... is the Province going to respond to this accusation of printing lies about the state of the market.

  9. 'Fake buyers buying fake houses in a fake market'

    You left out, 'Reading fake stories by fake journalists in fake newspapers'.

  10. I think it says advertisement on top of the print ad but is gone on the online version...sun and prov pay to view! what a joke

  11. Online it is a regular news article... what a sham. The Province is such a fraud.

  12. Just to clarify: the right side of that province page is news. The left side is ad.

  13. Lets not forget that this is Vancity too! They are complicit in the message/delivery. Maybe Vancity would like to rethink what they are getting mixed up in regarding the message (they are paying for it). This does not look good for them either.

  14. Does more than one person write for this blog? Who is 'we'?

  15. Oh yeah, buyers are returning, things are way better than 2012. That's why sales are on pace to be down 19% year over year in March and 33% below 10 year average (if you don't use this year's poor numbers to bring down the 10 year average). Will be 24 straight months of below average sales. Strong market. Buy now.