A press release becomes the news.

Yesterday I posted a link to a report by Genworth Financial that declared that “over the next four years, Vancouver condo demand is expected to slow to balance with supply, although a correction is not expected.”. As one poster commented, Genworth Financial was one of the first in Canada to insure zero-down and 40 year mortgages as part of their goal to “make homeownership more affordable and accessible throughout Canada”.

I’m not entirely clear how helping to drive up debt levels is helping this goal, but every company needs a slogan.

I see now that this story is running in the Province, pretty much verbatim from the press release. The story subtitle is ‘growth to continue without any correction’ which, though slightly plausible, is still surprising to see as a statement of absolute truth. Imagine a company issuing a press release with a prediction that their stock price will “rise about 6.2 per cent this year and average 4.4-per-cent annual growth through 2010”.

I don’t doubt that its difficult work being a reporter, but wouldn’t it be more efficient and cheaper for the paper to just reprint the press release without the byline? If the market does correct, I expect we’ll see a lot more of these press releases from real estate agencies, banks, mortgage brokers, etc. If we hit year over year price drops then we’ll get the ones that say ‘the worst is over!’.

Paying reporters to retype these press releases over and over seems inefficient at best.

10 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
bakakuse
bakakuse
13 years ago

I've read about the 20's and 30's and lived through it in Japan more recently.If the current decade is the 20's then the next will be the 30's. So prices will come down in 2012?I would say that the average price for a 500square foot box downtown is currently 275K. I wouldn't pay more than 210. How much would you pay?

patriotz
patriotz
13 years ago

But with dead cat bounces, olympic propaganda, and credit the crack cocaine of the decade I do think the downside is limited.Au contraire, that's exactly why the downside is so high. Why don't you study some economic history – like the 20's and 30's.

bakakuse
bakakuse
13 years ago

I agree that in regards to the condo market, the trend is not your friend. But with dead cat bounces, olympic propaganda, and credit the crack cocaine of the decade I do think the downside is limited. Apparently our education system is failing us, because this type of BS sells condos. I'm still a renting bear, though.

Alpha_Bear
Alpha_Bear
13 years ago

"writing letters complaining about the work of professionals just because you don't like the results of their study isn't going to help anything."Professionals reveal their study methodology, references and sources. Genworth merely extrapolated from the data provided by The Conference Board of Canada; Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation; and the Canadian Real Estate Association. At least they covered their collective butt by posting a disclaimer in the preamble to their study:"Forecasts and research often involve numerous assumptions and data sources, and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties. This informationis not intended as specific investment, accounting, legal or tax advice."Perhaps they should modify their disclaimer to include one frequently heard when referring to other "investments": "Past performance is not indicative of future performance."If you're referring to journalists as professionals, I suspect real journalists don't plagiarize.My crystal ball ™ indicates that… Read more »

patriotz
patriotz
13 years ago

the work of professionals just because you don't like the results of their study isn't going to help anything.Professional flacks studying tea leaves, you mean.The point is not to complain about the "study" – lots of companies issue bumpf like this. The point is that it's not news. If the auto industry released a "study" claiming that auto sales would increase 4.6% next year, I doubt it would even make the business pages.

dosh
dosh
13 years ago

writing letters complaining about the work of professionals just because you don't like the results of their study isn't going to help anything.

digi
digi
13 years ago

Has anyone written any letters of complaint to the province for the way the just reprint these press releases without any reporting?Would that would make any difference?

the pope
the pope
13 years ago

VHB: The sun version also has more words, so clearly they work a little harder.Although? Maybe the question marks are just the written equivalent of 'up-talking'? You know? where every thing you say ends in a question?

the pope
the pope
13 years ago

I glanced through the Genworth site and found this pdf, which may be the report they're referring to. Unfortunately I don't have time to read through it right now.I did find a section on their site with 'ready to use articles' so I see Genworth is all ready to make the news business more efficient.

Van Housing Blogger
Van Housing Blogger
13 years ago

At least the Sun had a question mark in its headline. That's what makes it a 'serious' broadsheet – see?