Blaming the Media

Robert Toll of the Toll Brothers' home building firm blames the media for the poor state of the housing market:

“Perhaps as the presidential campaign heats up and moves to the front page, negative articles about housing will move off the front page,” he said. “Then, hopefully, the positive underpinnings of low interest rates, low unemployment and a decent economy will raise new-home-buyer confidence.”

That to me indicates that the market has a good deal further to fall. If this is the best hope of an industry insider, then he obviously doesn't have much on which to pin his hopes. If anything, the media's role in this has been the reverse -- as the bubbles was inflating, papers seem to have done a lot of cashing-in through ad-heavy and cheerleading-oriented special real estate sections that I think helped obscure how unusual the then-happening price trends were.