Bloomberg Runs Flat-Out False Case-Shiller Headline

Bloomberg Headline: Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Rise for Fourth Month

Hey, cool! The housing downturn must be over if home prices rose in all twenty of the cities tracked by Case-Shiller, right?


…way down in the 11th paragraph of the article:

Compared with the prior month, nine of the 20 areas covered showed an increase while 10 had a decline.

Hey, wait a minute, that’s not what the headline said at all!

The AP was running blurbs with the same headline as well (including on this Seattle Times article), but they have since been changed. Here’s a screenshot of the Bloomberg article.

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    You Got It Tim

    CNN’s reporting the same hogwash….”home prices up in Q3″ [means the Jul-Sep timeframe]; but omits the
    -2% downward shift from Sep-Oct [and the -7% shift YOY from Oct 08-09]….its officially out too, the Obama rosy White House GDP +3.5% data for Q3 in error….should have been +2.8%….LOL….I guess we didn’t buy as much as they factored in….

    Hey, I imagine the Q3 home price escalation should go way down too [when we factor in corrections]…especially if its overly rosy pending sales that went down the toilet impact it, just like the Q3 GDP errors….

    The statistics news [especially the rosy stuff] lately is almost all hogwash, not just part of it, most of it….LOL

  2. 2
    AMS says:

    The Tim-

    Let’s be fair that there is a reasonable interpretation to make it true.

    “Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Rise for Fourth Month”

    As I interpret this, the prices rose in the aggregate 20 US cities, together. Of course any given house might have gone up or down, just as a given neighborhood area might have. But the total area, 20 cities, rose for the fourth month.

    As you know, making sure that a headline statement is true in all possible meanings, contexts, and so on is quite difficult. I’d cut them a little slack here.

    The prices did rise in “all twenty” together, but smaller market areas vary.

  3. 3
    waitingforseattletocool says:

    RE: AMS @ 2

    Semantics are important to The Tim.

    I’ve never seen a sensational headline on this blog (sic).

  4. 4
    AMS says:

    RE: waitingforseattletocool @ 3 – When I hear “all the major markets are up,” I certainly don’t hear “every stock on every market is up.”

  5. 5
    The Tim says:

    There’s a difference between sensational and flat-out false. This is equivalent to a headline that reads “Stock Prices of 30 Dow Jones Companies Rise for Full Week” when in fact half of the stocks were down for a week. At the very least it is horribly misleading.

    A simple change that would have made it true and its meaning clear would have been “Home Price Index of 20 U.S. Cities Rises for Fourth Month”

  6. 6
    Racket says:

    Still no free houses? Obama Has failed us all.

  7. 7
    Ross Jordan says:

    They have the contact details of the reporter in the article. I think we should just email them and let them know about the spin that they have put on the story. I just did.

  8. 8
    waitingforseattletocool says:

    RE: The Tim @ 5

    So saying something like “spring home price bounce erased in May” before the end of spring when it jumped again in June is not “horribly misleading”?

  9. 9
    treaty says:

    By waitingforseattletocool @ 3:

    RE: AMS @ 2

    Semantics are important to The Tim.

    I’ve never seen a sensational headline on this blog (sic).

    Semantics are important in journalism as a whole – they should be important to Bloomberg

  10. 10
    Gene says:

    The headline should have read something along the lines that home prices in the “20 City Index” increased. Basically, a very poorly written and misleading headline unless you know they are referring to the index…

  11. 11
    Hugh Dominic says:

    The MSM RE mouthpieces have always been very selective about how they announce data. UP can mean month over month, or year over year, whichever is favorable at the time. Only recently all stats have been uniformly bad, and they’ve been forced to invent canards like open house traffic, hyperlocals, and the real-time market.

    This is just more of the BS.

  12. 12
    jon says:

    “Bloomberg Runs Flat-Out False Case-Shiller Headline”

    Maybe you can get this guy to do a video on this

  13. 13
    CCG says:

    Recession Ends, Housing Boom Returns as New Home Prices Explode 17% Last Month *

    * in a hypothetical parallel universe that we discovered while inhaling a railroad-tie-sized line of medical-grade Colombian snow, if you get our drift.

  14. 14
    mukoh says:

    Don’t let THE MAN spread lies. Let them know the real truth. Go get em.

  15. 15

    Headlines are often inaccurate. They typically are not written by the person who wrote the article. They’re like the picture on the front of a novel. The person who created it probably didn’t read or understand the whole thing.

  16. 16
    Jonness says:

    Now for our nightly news report:

    Wild neighborhood dogs attack man. Body dismembered and partially eaten.. Man suffered for hours before death. Eyes were eaten from face. Whereabouts of dogs unknown.

    Local child rapist attacks again. Offender has excellent lock picking skills and abnormally large hands. This marks the 4th attack so far this month.

    Let’s go to Sam Daniels for our nightly economic report. Sam:

    It’s been yet another day of outstanding economic news. House prices increased in 20 U.S. cities. Recession has ended. Home sales are up. The stock market rallied. Job losses decreased.

    And now let’s turn to sports:

    The Seahawks lose their 7th game in a row.

  17. 17

    […] was to suddenly switch which data point they are talking about. In all their stories for the last six months or so, they have been focusing in on the month-to-month change in the seasonally-adjusted value of […]

  18. 18

    […] and year-over-year prices were down 15.0%.As has been the case each of the last five months (at least), Bloomberg is running a grossly misleading headline and leader. Their article headline is Home […]

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