The Housing Chronicles Blog: Introducing the Housing Chronicles Blog

Monday, November 12, 2007

Introducing the Housing Chronicles Blog

November 12, 2007

As I sit here this evening a few days before the annual Building Industry Show (BIS) Show in Long Beach (or what should really be called the Building Industry Show Show), and penning my first entry into this blog, I know I must have a mission, so here it is:

To share the reality of where the development industry (primarily housing, but also sometimes retail, office, industrial and other land uses) is headed, whether bad, really bad, about the same, slightly improving or finally showing some real life.

Having started in this industry in the late 1980s, I've already been through the boom-and-bust cycle of the 1990s, which at the time was described as "the worst housing downturn since the Depression," so I'm a bit leery of any hyperbole from either the media or other bloggers.

At a time when other housing blogs have selected names such as "housingpanic," "housingdoom" and "drhousingbubble," I thought it was time to introduce some semblance of neutrality to the discussion of the housing market, hence the rather pedestrian (and neutral) name "Housing Chronicles."

The truth is many of these sites are not run by industry insiders -- they're run by people who simply noticed that (a) housing prices were going up way too fast; (b) incomes were not keeping pace; so (c) something fishy was going on (can you say "subprime?"), which meant (d) the party would eventually end and (e) there would be a nasty hangover -- all of which are true. And I thank them for pointing out the obvious! But "panic," "doom" and "bubble?" Shouldn't these drama queens be saving the histrionics for the stage? Unless, of course, they're good for selling ads...

On our recently launched website ( we've included a variety of links and news feeds from national and local sources (at least local to California) and various real estate-related blogs, with the idea being that anyone visiting these pages can quickly review the top economic and real estate headlines of the day, click on those which interest you further to print out or read later, and then get on with your day (and given the layoffs everywhere I'm sure your days are busier than ever).

To make it even easier for you, we'll be reviewing these same links and news feeds and discussing what we think they mean for the real estate and building industry in this blog (hopefully several times per week), so even if you simply read it regularly we're hoping you'll feel like you're up to date on the most important issues of the day.

But we also need INPUT from readers. When I helped create and launch The New Home Report (which summarized monthly traffic, sales and inventory trends for each county in Southern California) back in 1993-94, we changed its design and content FIVE times in six months because we wanted to create a compelling and useful product for the building industry.

Armed with that same philosophy for this blog and for MetroIntelligence (, we hope to create a site that you'll find saves you time and makes your day a bit easier. We're going to be adding more content and more links so that you'll be able to get any information you need with the simple click of a link -- sometimes it will be free, other times it will cost you a bit -- but given the enormity of data now available on the Internet, we hope that you'll make our little roadmap your starting home page each day. In fact, why don't you just do that now? And if you want to check out the blog, it's also available on that site at

Hope to see you at BIS!

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