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Friday, October 23, 2009

Parsing the NAR's latest spin on the housing market

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        Existing home sales jumped 9.4 percent from August to September and an almost identical amount from September last year to this year, according to a report by the National Association of Realtors.  In his typical cheerleading fashion, the NAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun, centered the economic universe on housing.

        "Despite spectacular gains in the stock market, principally from the financial sector recovery," Yun said today, "most of the 75 million home owning families have more wealth tied to their homes." 

        Financial sector recovery?  In Yun's definition, financial sector is Wall Street only -- no banks, no insurance companies.  It doesn't

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

matter that the banks have tightened up on lending and deferred to the government to encourage purchases.  Yun defines the financial sector to fit his argument, not reality.

        "Home values could soon turn consistently positive and help the broad base of middle-class families, but we are not there yet."

        Of course they "could turn consistently positive," but will they?  This is the guy who hundreds of thousands of real estate agents, as well as consumers, look to for pithy observations.  Thank you, Captain Obvious.

        "We're getting early indications of price stabilization, but we need a steady supply of qualified buyers to meaningfully bring inventories down and return us to a period of normal, steady price growth and to fully remove consumer fears, which would then revive the broader economy."

        What a bunch of bull!  Intellectual honesty cries for testimony that no one knows anything about price trends in this market.  More foreclosures loom as more variable loans reset.  And all bets are off regarding jobs and their effect on housing.  Indeed for even a cigar store economist to make reference to consumer fears and never mention jobs is to reveal himself yet again as a shameless flack.
Read 2953 times Last modified on Friday, 23 October 2009 13:34
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.