The constant echochamber on LinkedIn, lately, has been about how great real estate is doing and how there will never be a recession has hit such a crescendo lately that it is competing with the Israeli War rhetoric over on X. And as the pundits abound on both sides, vying for the Wall Street money from the former and military industrial complex dollars on the latter, the reality is that there isn’t news anymore. And while the Republicans may get on off with GOP candidate Mike Johnson, the reality is that it has been nothing more than a cesspool in Congress for decades with former President Trump simply bringing it out into the open. The ever vacillating opinions driven by AI and high frequency trading has created a one lane highway of narratives driven by hyper accelerated noise with no signal.
The one narrative which has been consistent throughout the past several quarters has been that real estate is doing well and there is zero risk of recession. It is the epitome of complete and total bullshit. Case-in-point, the scandal ridden National Association of Realtors (NAR). When it comes to total amount of lobbying dollars, it ranked second only to the US Chamber of Commerce, last year. Here is how HousingWire, a heavily compensated publication by the NAR put it,
The organization outspent every organization in the country in 2020 and 2022 and came in second behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in seven of the last 10 years. It is on pace for another second place finish this year.
No one in the real estate industry comes close to NAR’s lobbying budget. Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae briefly outspent NAR in the early 2000s, but the association has held the industry’s top spot since 2006, according to OpenSecrets data.
I suppose, when you have over 1,000 Board Members and roughly 1.3 million Realtors whom are forced to pay dues for products they don’t agree with like, uh, sexual harassment and fear of retribution, it shouldn’t be surprising.
The issue, though, is far more basic than the corruption swirling around virtually everything associated with real estate and finance. It is the reposting hype calculated to trigger quant based algo trading in the high frequency and dark pool environments. Read up on those as I have covered it fairly extensively. To that point, I caught yet another example of it on LinkedIn today. MarketWatch, a Rupert Murdoch rag, ran an article entitled, America’s No. 1 emerging real-estate market is in Kansas, this morning. It praised Topeka, Kansas, as the title explained: America’s No. 1 emerging real-estate market. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. It didn’t matter, though. The LinkedIn pundits were out, in full force and regalia, trumpeting how great Topeka was. The echo chamber was in overdrive. In fact, the article rolled out at 0801 EDT and in less than an hour multiple, heavyweight CEO’s had rolled out the red carpet for yet another Big Lie. Here, let me break it down in the way that only a trained media professional such as myself is capable of doing,
The Sentinel, owned by the Kansas Policy Institute, published a bipartisan piece on how the US Census detailed the loss of population in Kansas on 26 June 2023, entitled U. S. Census data details Kansas population loss. It did not beat around the bush about the fact that Kansas is in an outward bound state of migration. Here are some succent facts that firms like Nations Companies and its CEO Steve Likens should take note of before trumpeting out the Party Line which undercuts the trust of his firm,
Of the ten largest counties in the state, gainers and losers of population were split evenly; Butler, Douglas, Johnson, Leavenworth and Sedgwick showed increases while Riley, Reno, Saline, Shawnee, and Wyandotte experienced what demographers refer to as negative domestic migration, or more U.S. residents leaving a location than moving in, is a primary cause of the decline. — Topeka is the state capital and based in Shawnee County.
Kansas is alone in the region with its declining population. The closest state also losing population is Illinois.
The reasons for more people moving out of Kansas than moving in? Kiplinger’s uses state income tax rates, average combined state and local sales tax levies, and median property tax rates to judge “Tax-Friendly States for Middle-Class Families” and “Tax-Friendly States for Retirees”, and finds Kansas wanting in both cases. Kansas is the sixth-worst for middle-class families and the third-worst for retirees.
Additionally, 2023 research from Rich States, Poor States shows Kansas has the third-most government employees per 10,000 population in the United States, trailing only Alaska and Wyoming. An over-regulated economy is another drag on employment opportunities, causing job creators and job seekers to go elsewhere.
Now, remember, here is how MarketWatch described Topeka,
The doctor is far from alone in choosing to buy in Topeka. In fact, the city is one of the hottest emerging real-estate markets in the U.S., according to the WSJ/Realtor.com® Fall 2023 Emerging Housing Markets Index, released Wednesday.
It gets better, though. Yahoo Finance put out a piece around the same time that The Sentinel put out their eye opening stats, quantifying why there may have been an increase in home purchases. In one word, welfare. If you pay people to move into a dust bowl town, many will. And it wasn’t simply Yahoo whom published on the Great Welfare Land Rush. A simple Google search will bring up the CTRI discussed below,
GO Topeka announced today the expansion of its $15,000 Choose Topeka Relocation Incentive. New Topeka and Shawnee County residents, and recent graduates of Washburn University, can receive up to $15,000 toward home purchases or childcare-related expenses if they work in person for a local company. A $5,000 incentive is available for Veterans and “boomerang” residents seeking to return to the metro.
The moral of the story here is that simply reposting things you know absolutely nothing about, even when you live in the state being discussed, is not a good business move. It contributes, in a negative fashion, to the echo chambers abounding as well as demonstrates a lack of resolve to resist the temptation to think out actions before knee jerk reactions occur.