Declining or Decelerating?

I’m getting annoyed by how some agents try to spin this market.  Lately, I’ve seen real estate agents claiming that home prices are just decelerating, not declining.  Because prices are compared to a year-ago period, they say the rate of increase is slowing.  While that’s correct, they further claim that just means prices are decelerating.  Again, still technically correct.  But then they tell you not to believe prices are declining. Wrong.  We hit a peak in prices in May around the Austin area and prices are lower today.  That means prices have declined.  It all depends on how you present the data.  Frankly, I think some agents just don’t understand the data.  Others are just trying to talk things up.  I go with the straightforward approach. I simply tell you what the data says and what I believe it means, whether it’s good or bad.  Of course, whether you view it as a positive or negative usually depends upon if you are a buyer or seller. 

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