About those national housing numbers...

    Like politics, housing numbers are local.  National numbers about housing starts, sale price trends and unsold homes are interesting, but they really are not relevant for anyone but economists and pundits.  Whether you are intending to sell your house or buy one, or do both, you should be much more interested in the more granular data for metro markets but preferably down to the zip code or, better yet, neighborhood level.
    Yesterday in my hometown Hartford (CT) Courant, a local real estate broker made some good points about just how much faith we should put in national numbers, which is to say zero.  I am not inclined typically to quote brokers who, after all, have a vested interest in pumping sunshine into the local markets.  But this broker's comments make sense for those of us who are skeptical about the national figures' relevance, and even more skeptical about the spin the pundits and real estate industry put on them.
    The letter is posted (for the time being) at the Courant web site under the heading "Local Figures Tell Real Story" [click here for link].