Monday, July 28, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies, and Whatnot...

From the Department of IMPENDING DOOM:

Foreclosures in region increase 66%
And, from the Certainly-Bad-News-But-Definitely-Not-Something-To-Crap-Your-Pants-Over Department:
Pittsburgh foreclosures stay behind the national average
Zee facts:
In the five-county region, 418 homes were lost to foreclosure in June 2008, which is 167 more than in June 2007, according to RealSTATs, a real estate information company.
Considering that there are... well, at least more than 500 homes in the City of Pittsburgh alone...many, many more I would say... actually, tens of thousands more...I would say that this isn't necessarily something to get all that worked up about. Granted going from 351 to 418 foreclosures is an increase, but (and this is the important bit) it all depends on the context.

The Business Times, however, puts Chicken Little into perspective:
Pittsburgh ranks 79th out of the country's 100 biggest metro areas in foreclosure rate, with one in every 383 households in foreclosure, according to the study by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc.

Other Rust Belt cities fared far worse. Cleveland ranked 26th; Columbus, Ohio, ranked 31st; and Detroit ranked 12th on the list.

Pennsylvania as a whole is near the middle of the pack in terms of foreclosures. The commonwealth is ranked 31st, with one in every 524 Pennsylvania households receiving foreclosure notice during the quarter, according to the report.
So there you go: yes, there's been an increase in foreclosures and, yes, that's bad, but, no, it's not that bad. It is certainly not time to bludgeon our bankers to death and feast on their gooey entrails.

If anything, a good banker needs to be marinaded for at least 12 hours and roasted.

Now, hysterical newspaper reporters, well that's a different story...

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