Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, May 20, 2021

What’s the solution for all the extra housing inventory left over from the real estate market collapse? Simple: Build even more houses.

Land and labor costs have fallen significantly, so the newest homes are competitively priced. Some of the boom-era homes, meanwhile, are in developments that feel like ghost towns. And many Americans will always believe the latest model of something is their only option, an attitude builders are doing their utmost to reinforce.

In Phoenix, a billboard for Fulton Homes summed up the builders’ marketing approach. “Does your foreclosure have tenants?” it asks, next to a picture of a mammoth cockroach.

Brent Anderson, a marketing executive with another Southwest builder, Meritage Homes, said it bought 713 lots in stricken Arizona last year, and was on the verge of starting construction in a new Phoenix community called Lyon’s Gate.

“We’re building them because we’re selling them,” Mr. Anderson said. “Our customers wouldn’t care if there were 50 homes in an established neighborhood of 1980 or 1990 vintage, all foreclosed, empty and for sale at $10,000 less. They want new. And what are we going to do, let someone else build it?”

One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, right? (Actually, it’s not, but let’s not get in the way of a good quip!)

It’s amusing that marketing is largely driving this impulse for the latest model of new-construction dwelling, similar to automobile buying patterns. Too bad houses aren’t designed to be as disposable; and that existing properties stand to be mired in depressed valuations for decades to come, thanks to this over-building binge.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/20/2010 11:47pm
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Society
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CBS added a prime-grade bit of corporate-speak to our lexicon yesterday:

The [schedule] changes, and the five new shows, are part of what Kelly Kahl, senior executive VP for CBS primetime, calls “aggressive stablity.”

“Every year the goal is to make the schedule stronger,” Kahl says. “To make the schedule stronger, you have to put new shows on the air. That usually means clearing out some space, some of the lower-hanging fruit. Most of the shows we canceled were either ones that had the biggest declines year to year or were simply the lowest-rated shows. It’s the network circle of life.”

“Aggressive stability”. Basically presented as a proactive strategy to stave off eventual decline, but really, it smacks of change just for the sake of change. With a dose of self-denial about it, to boot. Does this stuff actually make sense when it comes out of a suit’s mouth, or does it need to be repeated endlessly until any meaning is beside the point?

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/20/2010 10:03am
Category: Business, TV, Wordsmithing
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