I just returned from the National Association of Realtors convention in San Diego. NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun spoke to a room packed with REALTORS® and projected that real estate prices would climb about 4% in 2010, while the number of home sales will increase 15%. He also predicts that foreclosures will peak during the first half of 2010 and that Realtor incomes will go up 20 percent next year.
I'm an optimist. Sometimes I even show Pollyanna tendencies, but I just can't join the partying that is breaking out in real estate offices across the nation based on his predictions.
In newspapers and blogs, the mockery has already begun. Take this typical response to Yun's predictions from The Wallet Pop blog: "The good news: National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun is predicting that home prices will rise 4% in 2010. The bad news: Lawrence Yun has never been right about anything in his entire life, ever."
A comment on Yun's prediction on the FreeRepublic website by the Antiyuppie was simply "This guy (Yun) was hired because Baghdad Bob had already been snagged By Al-Jazeira. Really."
The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch reported Yun's predictions and has received 200 comments. The most popular comment as voted on by readers was by Economutt, "Gee, I better run out and buy a house before they're all gone. ;-)"
How many times does an economist have to be wrong before people stop taking him seriously? Why do NAR economists as well as real estate association executives feel the need to serve as cheerleaders?
Wouldn't a good dose of reality serve us, as well as the public, better?
Linda Davis has been selling real estate in Ledyard CT for 32 years. You'll find Linda's profile on her Online Buesiness Card.
Old Time Rainers keep asking if I'll ever do another Carnac Post. I'm trying to muster up some predictions for 2010.