Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NARcasting The Future: November 2007

Today, 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 Move.com

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.”

9/11/2007 Prediction: 5.92 million units.
Yun “Patient buyers in most areas who do their homework will recognize that housing remains a good long-term investment.”

10/10/2007 Prediction: 5.78 million units.
Yun "The speculative excesses have been removed from the market and home sales are returning to fundamentally healthy levels, while prices remain near record highs, reflecting favorable mortgage rates and positive job gains."

11/13/2007 Prediction: 5.5 million units.
Yun "In some ways, the extended real estate boom from 2001 to 2005 created unrealistic expectations that housing is a short-term high-yield investment… 2007 will be the fifth best year for housing on record"