HGTV as Real Estate Market Indicator.
I often leave HGTV on the TV while I'm cleaning the kitchen. (For a network that's supposed to be about homes and gardens, I've never seen a show about landscaping.) Most of the shows I see on HGTV are about housing and the real estate market. In fact, I've noticed that HGTV can be a broad indicator of the real estate market.
About two years ago, while the real estate market was just starting to crash, nearly every show on HGTV was about buying (or selling) a house; the real estate agent helps folks find their dream houses; "Flip That House"; three properties are shown, and the couple picks one; someone buys their very first home.
But nowadays, there are several new shows on HGTV, and house-flipping shows are nowhere to be seen. Such as, an agent takes folks to find their dream rental / apartment. There are a couple of different shows about why a house has been on the market for so long. There's even another show about remodeling homes to add rental space - so that the homeowners can get a little help with their mortgage payments.
I shall feel that the real estate market is truly back on the rise when I see the boom-time programming of old back on HGTV.