Monday, August 13, 2007

NARcasting The Future: August 2007

Last week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released yet another downward revision to their outlook for existing home sales for 2007 along with another dose of truly ridiculous spin.

In an effort to put their absurd bias into perspective I compiled all their forecasts for 2007 home sales into a chart along with a list of prominent quotes supplied with each forecast.

12/11/2006 - Prediction: 6.40 million units
Lereah "Most of the correction in home prices is behind us."

1/10/2007 - Prediction: 6.42 million units
Lereah "The good news is that the steady improvement in sales will support price appreciation moving forward."

2/7/2007 - Prediction: 6.44 million units
Lereah "After reaching what appears to be the bottom in the fourth quarter of 2006, we expect existing-home sales to gradually rise all this year and well into 2008."

3/13/2007 Prediction: 6.42 million units
Lereah "Although existing-home sales will be marginally reduced due to subprime lending restrictions, they should be gradually rising this year and next."

4/11/2007 Prediction: 6.34 million units
Lereah "Tighter lending standards will dampen home sales a bit, but by less than a couple of percentage points from initial projections."

Lereah Leaves NAR for

5/9/2007 Prediction: 6.29 million units
Yun "Housing activity this year will be somewhat lower than in earlier forecasts."

6/6/2007 Prediction: 6.18 million units
Yun "Home sales will probably fluctuate in a narrow range in the short run, but gradually trend upward with improving activity by the end of the year."

7/11/2007 Prediction: 6.11 million units
Yun "Home prices are expected to recover in 2008 with existing-home sales picking up late this year."

8/8/2007 Prediction: 6.04 million units
Yun “With the population growing, the demand for homes isn’t going away – it’s just being delayed.”