As I was perusing my inbox this morning, I came across an email from Inman News highlighting its list of the Top Real Estate Blogs for 2006. I guess you might call them "The Bloggies".
If there's one theme that unifies the most popular real estate blogs today, it would be (in the words of the late Hunter S. Thompson) "Fear and Loathing".
For starters, check out the award-winning "Housing Panic" (http://www.housingpanic.blogspot.com/), which goes after David Lerah, George Bush and pretty much anyone who has ever owned a home in California.
"The Housing Bubble Blog" (http://www.thehousingbubbleblog.com/) screams of imminent collapses in Arizona, Florida and California while interestingly selling ad space on its site to Option One Mortgage.
And "OC Flip Track" (http://www.oc-fliptrack.com/) spotlights the activities of property flippers in Orange County, California, showing current MLS listings with purchase histories, price reductions and the estimated losses of those "investors" who got burned by buying it wrong (and then trying to flip) in 2006.
But perhaps my favorite award-winner is http://www.bubbleinfo.com/, a northern San Diego-county based site hosted by local real estate agent Jim Klinge. Klinge offers all sorts of doomsday scenarios for the Southern California market, ringing with apocalyptic tones and as recently as today identifying his home market as the "second most likely" to collapse in 2007... then he asks to list your home. Hmmm. (Interestingly, he also includes a link on his site called "Best Places to Live"... which redirects visitors to the Money Magazine article from 2006 singing the praises of Fort Collins - I guess I'll be calling Jim to see about setting up a referral network!)
Well, as you know, I'm not a doomsdayer when it comes to the Southern California market. I do think there is some serious dysfunction in the market - caused in large part by the ongoing unrealistic expectations of sellers and the fact that there are now 505,000 (!) licensed real estate agent in California, 80% of whom have never been through a transitioning market.
Just like here in Colorado, there are some bad loans in the pipeline and some people made flawed assumptions when they bought their homes, so it may take a while to sort itself out. But I don't recommend making the "blogosphere" your primary source for real estate news*... any more than I would recommend taking stock tips from a cab driver in New York City.
* unless, of course, it's from THIS site! ; )