In the last few days I heard someone on TV (don’t remember who or where) say something along the lines of, ‘When you see a TV show called “Flip This House” you know the boom is over.’

Very clever.

Is it true?

It turns out that “Flip This House” premiered on July 24, 2005.

Holy mackerel!

That’s right when the boom ended!

The median home price in metro Phoenix, Arizona in August 2005 was $255,5000. Last month, August 2006, the median price was pretty much the same at $254,900.

Does that mean when they cancel “Flip This House” it’s a signal to buy real estate?

Or, at least, if you ever see a show called “Foreclose It!” you’ll know the market’s already bottomed out and started rebounding.

UPDATE: The similarly named “Flip That House” (TLC) debuted the same month as “Flip This House” (A&E). Whew! That’s confusing.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Dang it! I just found a New York Times article that called it in August 2005.

One morning in 1929, while having his shoes shined, Joseph P. Kennedy is said to have gotten some advice: buy stock in R.C.A. and U.S. Steel. Instead, he sold everything.

“When the shoeshine boy starts giving you tips,” he supposedly concluded, “it’s time to get out of the market.”

Today’s equivalent aphorism might go like this: When two cable channels offer competing reality shows about property speculation – called, no kidding, “Flip This House” (A&E) and “Flip That House” (Discovery Home) – it’s time to get out of real estate.

Okay, enough economic analysis around here. I’m going to watch TV.

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