Top 10 Real Estate Developments of the ’00s: #9

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Today, our look at the most significant real estate developments of the decade continues with the ninth-ranked item on the list:

#9: Real Estate on TV

Toward the beginning of this decade, we saw two manias explode onto the national scene: reality TV and the housing boom. The perhaps inevitable combination of these two popular trends resulted in a massive proliferation of real estate-focused programming on cable television.

These shows generally fell into two categories:

  • Design and Staging: These shows focused primarily on home furnishings and improvements, for the implicit (and sometimes explicit) purpose of increasing a house’s value for resale.
  • House Hunting: These shows focused more on the process of finding a home with the desired characteristics for the right price.

Moreover, while channels such Bravo and A&E added a few real estate shows to its lineup, a couple of others made real estate and related topics their bread and butter—namely, HGTV and Discovery Home & Leisure (which has since been rebranded Planet Green, reflecting another important industry trend).

Shows have adapted to the changing times as well. These days, programs like Real Estate Intervention, which helps sellers come to terms with realistic prices for their properties, and Renovation Realities, which offers a glimpse into the stresses and soaring costs involved with home improvement projects, present a pragmatic picture of the process of buying, selling, and improving houses.

Still, in good times or bad, the main thing is to amuse and interest viewers. And the sheer number of these kinds of programs on TV right now suggests that there’s a large audience that wants real estate-themed entertainment, regardless of what the market is doing.

(On a personal note, I’m not a fan of most of these shows, and this post shouldn’t be viewed as an endorsement. But liking something and acknowledging it as a cultural phenomenon are two separate things. I don’t particularly like American Idol either, but there’s no denying its popularity in this decade.)

Other Major Real Estate Developments of the Decade

1. Housing Goes Boom and Bust

2. The Fall of Fannie and Freddie

3. Government-Led Recovery

4. The Practitioner Explosion

5. Commercial Crash


7. Record Lows in Mortgage Rates


10. Going Green

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at

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  1. While real estate reality shows can sometimes be amusing, I echo your sentiment and am not a big fan of them. Packing an entire home renovation into a 30 or 60 minute segment glosses over much of the mundane and challenging aspects of a renovation project. In real life, there is not a happy ending to many renovations like there almost always is on TV.