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Ease Up!

For all of you out there who think that the mass media are tanking the housing market, well, you may be right, but we're not the only ones. I visited the National Association of Home Builders' Semi-Annual Construction Conference this morning, and never in my life have I seen an industry group so down and dark about their very own sector (well maybe the 8-track tape industry circa 1980).

On every luncheon table was a little card saying, "Be Prepared for Anything," and if you sign up for next fall's conference, you get a free umbrella (for real!). Then there was the NAHB economic report, which was titled, in bold white, "Grab On" with a man holding a life ring underneath.

Come on! Did someone in NAHB's PR department forget whom exactly these folks represent? Here’s a hint: BUILDERS. I'm not advocating that industry groups twist the truth, especially when they're talking about the very serious natuer of their own business, but from the face of this conference, you might miss the fact that thousands of homes in America are still bought and sold every single day -- newly built ones too.

The housing market is undergoing a deep correction, not helped by a meltdown in the subprime mortgage market. Inventories are high, prices need to come down and earnings for the big public homebuilders are by no means enviable. But people still live in houses and, come rain or shine, they likely will for centuries to come.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

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