I didn't think anything could get me to watch even 10 seconds of the Glenn Beck show again. How ironic that it was a Beck rant about misinformation that compelled me to undergo visual root canal just one more time.
Beck did a four-minute piece on his TV show in 2008 that charts National Association of Realtors predictions about the housing market against reality. It is well-handled and must watching for any REALTOR, and interesting for the rest of us. In short -- and you can watch it for yourself here -- Beck's timeline shows clearly that when an NAR chief economist pours forth words of optimism, the market tanks. A few times is a mistake; a long pattern of mistakes is something more than stupidity.
First it was David Lereah, who may have been more selfish than stupid, since he was hyping the market through the NAR
Most of the 1.3 million REALTORs have acted like loyal Moonies to the monolithic NAR, regardless of how obvious the economic jive has been. Dues in the hundreds of dollars give agents permission to use capital letters in their titles. The REALTOR designation, they believe, brings a certain luster that puts them at an advantage over non-affiliated agents like your editor, who would rather spend the money on a round of golf at Pebble Beach (although not until the market stabilizes).
Now, finally, REALTORS and those who watch the industry are calling for the NAR to get REAL. One Connecticut
NAR rakes in from its members well over $300 million in revenues each year. That buys a lot of influence in Washington and state legislatures, but the organization should put a little aside to purchase an honest economist. Its members deserve at least that.