The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) announced
on Monday that it is launching a new campaign, reaching out
to consumers "with the facts about homeownership and the value of real estate
as a long-term investment."
NAR's Public Awareness Campaign is centered around a new website, www.HousingMarketFacts.com
which provides information on homeownership as an investment, including a calculator
that purports to show have a down payment will grow over the years, and links
to portions of the official Realtor.org site that will guide viewers in accessing
housing and community research or to identify an appropriate real estate agent.
The campaign will also use broadcast and print media to make its point to consumers.
Local associations can receive posters, newspaper/magazine ads, and billboards
following the campaign's two basic themes: "Building Wealth,"
and "Home Values." Between now and November the Association will
broadcast ads on these same themes more than 10,000 time on national TV and
radio. Local associations can coordinate the national media buys with their
own local advertising.
The media plan for the PR campaign indicates that network television ads will
be sparse - a total of 265 in the 11 months of the effort - but
cable television on channels such as the Food Network, HGTV, the History Channel,
DIY, and TBS will broadcast 2,340 ads and Hispanic outlets will get 558.
It is interesting to note that only Fox, CBS, and ABC are designated networks.
One has to wonder if the NAR has yet to forgive NBC for the priceless
moment on The Today Show three or four years ago when a horrified Al Roker
gave consumer reporter Janet Lieberman about four chances to recant her breezy
assertion that a real estate agent and a Realtor were synonymous. I believe
she said something to the effect that "you say tomato." Come on guys, NBC did
According to NAR's press release about the new campaign, the median
price of existing homes has increased an average of more than 6 percent
every year for the last 30 years and home values have historically close to
doubled every ten years. NAR quotes a Federal Reserve study that shows that
the average homeowner's net worth is 46 times that of the average renter (although
there may be a certain cause and effect flaw in that argument.) NAR expresses
concern that the frenzy of media reports about the state of
the housing market may be keeping some potential home buyers on the sidelines
out of fear and it hopes its ads will counteract that phenomenon.
NAR President Dick Gaylord said "Nobody buys a home in the national
real estate market. All real estate markets are local, and buyers and
sellers who are thinking about making a move should consult with a Realtor®
in their local market to learn about conditions specific to the area. It's also
advisable to look beyond the immediate horizon - real estate has proven itself
to be a good long-term investment and a safe, secure way to build long-term
According to NAR's most recent forecast, existing-home sales might total
5.66 million in 2007, the fifth highest on record, rising to 5.70 million in
2008 and 5.91 million in 2009. Existing-home prices will probably o be down
1.9 percent to a median of $217,600 for all of 2007 which is good news for buyers;
hold steady in 2008, and then rise 3.1 percent in 2009 to $224,400.