Sunday, March 22, 2009

L'Actualité Grapples with a "Big Picture Story". Story Gets Away.

L'Actualité magazine's cover story this week is all about Quebec real estate. The headline writer must have pulled a muscle stretching to come up with the headline; "How to profit from the crisis."
Sounds juicy, right? Except after reading the whole dang thing, I don't know what crisis they're talking about. Inside, the headline reads "Where are the deals? Condo or bungalow? In town or the suburbs? How to profit from an end of boom market."
It's partly a matter of scope, as the reporter veers from the big picture in Canada, to the meltdown in Detroit to the price of real estate on the Plateau. Nice work, but could you tell me what these have to do with each other? Real estate is local, even hyper local. Even if you draw the conclusion that prices on the Plateau are overheated and due for a correction, all you have to do is drive, bike or hop on the métro and travel 5 kilometres to find a neighborhood where prices are more affordable.
The one useful thing the mag provides is an online chart that shows the variation in average Montreal prices for condos, single-family homes and plexes (two to five units) between 2000 and 2008. The rest of the report, a bit of a dog's breakfast.

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