Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Semantics of "Good"

I've pretty much gotten beyond taking the San Francisco Chronicle seriously for anything other than the comics. (On the positive side my wife still has good thoughts about their sports reporting and commentary.) Occasionally, however, there is amusement beyond the "funny papers," as such. On Sundays I tend to check the back page of the Insight section to see what counts as the past week being "good" or "bad."

Today was a case of the Chronicle not being able to make up its mind and erring on the side of optimism. One of the "good week" items was:
BayArea home prices rise to their highest point since 2007 peak: $661,000 median.
This counted as a good week for home sellers. Perhaps it will be. It remains to be seen whether or not the current economic crisis in China will become the next full-fledged global economic crisis; but, on the basis of past history, that is the sort of transition that can take place very abruptly. (Given how divided our nation has become, one can even imagine moneyed interests hastening such a catastrophe, just of the sake of leaving a black mark on Obama's record before he leaves office.) So anyone thinking this would be a good time to sell might consider that any real estate transaction that does not take place today will be far from certain in its outcome.

Meanwhile, the Chronicle was perceptive enough to realize that good news for those with a home to sell does not necessarily translated to good news for anyone else. That sentence quoted above was followed by another:
Affordability crisis persists.
In other words, even if you make a killing selling your home, you may not be able to buy a satisfactory replacement for it. So much for this being a good week in the world of real estate.

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