By Anne Hartnett
I am in real estate media. I eat, sleep and live the topic. It’s what people corner me about at dinner parties, the gym and the dog park. Because of my work, I track several high-tech real estate indicators and indices, all of which profess to know where the housing market is headed.
But, I’ve just discovered a new, radical, groundbreaking indicator: print media.
As I was going through my emails one morning, I stumbled upon a sales pitch from the Wall Street Journal. The Journal has launched a new real estate section – and in its print publication, shocking! Now, in addition to its current “Real Estate” section, the Journal will publish “Mansion,” a special look at the houses and real estate markets for the uber wealthy.
Articles of note include: “A Diva’s Desert Hideaway,” which looked at a luxury home in Sante Fe with operatic ambitions; “Castle Smackdown,” a comparison of two European castles that are currently for sale; “Renovating a Home While Rebuilding a Life,” a detailed fiscal look at how a SoCal woman spent $795,900 remodeling her home; and, more specific “How to” articles, such as as how to buy your home in a trust (to cloak your identity), and the right mover for your high-end luxury items.
Now, I originally took note of “Mansion” because, lets face it – we are all curious how the 1 percent live. And, I’ll admit, I felt so bad after reading the story of the lonely, old rich guy who, after a long, six-year renovation, decided he missed his contractors!
But what was truly amazing was that the Journal, which I am sure did a thorough cost-benefit analysis of producing an additional real estate section, decided it was time to up the ante. So forget the Case-Shiller Index, the Dow Jones Real Estate Indices and all the other Wall Street market research you subscribe to, because thanks to “Mansion” I’m calling it – real estate is back.