Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Housing Will be Flat Next Year! Whew!

Home Prices will be flat next year, as will home SALES - whew! Thank god, I was worried after a 7 year bubble it might take more than 9 months to wash out all the ills... but according to the always accurate Lawrence Yun of the National Association of Realtors - nothing to fear people.

Now Mr Yun is of course unbiased and one of my favorites, since he has been calling for a bottom and quick recovery for about as long as Mr Hovnanian. I see either the NAR has no such thing as performance reviews and/or prefers incorrect information as long as its BULLISH. I really start to wonder if our major industries, much like government, they overlook bad information as long as its information they want to hear. I mean it works for the government - and "yes men" are famous for trailing along with their favorite CEOs.... truly his track record is sad.

I always love how the media trot out his 'updated' predictions every 4-6 weeks and cheer. Never pointing to his previous track record (abysmal) Plus really this is probably the most biased economist you could ask about housing in the entire country, no?

I spoke about Mr Yun's track record in early October [Realtors Group Lowers Forecast But Lawrence Yun Still on Kool Aid] I will save you the time from clicking on the link - here is his history regarding 2007 sales as of early October. In reverse chronological order.

(October prediction) Yun now calls for home sales to be down 10.8% from last year.

(September prediction) 30 days ago, Yun thought it was (drumroll) going to be 8.6%, so he is only off by a factor of 25.6% in 30 days.

Here is the kicker... he thought back in February the year over year drop off would be only (drumroll) 0.6%! Don't even make me try to calculate by what magnitude that 'economic forecast' was off by.

What did Yun think about 2008 - 6 weeks ago?
You guessed it
Sales will INCREASE! (he now says FLAT?) and a few months before that he was calling for an even larger INCREASE!

(October prediction) Yun now predicts 6.12 million in sales, UP from the 5.78 milion predicted for 2007 (which goes down monthly) - thats a 5.9% INCREASE! woo hoo!

(September prediction) Now the kicker of all kickers is that 6.12 million in sales is down 2.4% from his forecast LAST month, so this is his CONSERVATIVE number. He was even more bullish last month - what were we looking for last month? 8% increase in home sales for 08??

So let's review, completely wrong on 2007 and in the span of under 3 months he has taken down 2008 from a 8% increase (September) to 5.9% increase (October) to flat (November)

Mr Yun, this Buds for You....

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