Home Economics on TV

The real estate boom may be over in your neighborhood, but the market for realty TV is going strong

HGTV (3)

Cast members from the HGTV television show BOUGHT & SOLD (LEFT TO RIGHT)Steven Gendel, Toni Goncalves, Joanna PArker-Lentz, Jodi Rubenstein, Sam Joseph, Nancy Gentile, Roberta Baldwin, Roy Scott, VAnessa Pollock, Linda Russell, Chris and Greg Lane

If you watch CNBC, you know that these are not happy times for American homeowners. U.S. home prices just fell for the first time in 16 years, new condos are languishing in former hot spots like Florida, and the subprime-lending fiasco threatens to drag down the wider economy.

But why listen to CNBC? Turn the dial a few notches to HGTV, and the housing boom has never been boomier. HGTV, the homespun redoubt of gardening and glue-gun projects that became a cable hit in the post-9/11 cocooning era, is now dominated by what it calls "Property Buzz" shows: series about buying...

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