It's Snowing in Hell
From the Motley Fool:
You just know the housing situation has gotten bad if the six-percenters at the National Association of Realtors finally feel the need to reveal the awful truth: Prices are going to fall. The latest verbiage from the world's most vocal housing-bubble cheerleader, NAR economist David Lereah, actually predicts that home prices will drop by 0.7 % in 2007.
Of course, you wouldn't know that to read the headline, which, as usual, paints the fantasy that everything is always good for housing. In other words, it's exactly what you'd expect from a guy who's been shilling housing not only in press releases for his trade group, but in misguided books like the wonderfully timed (from 2005) Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?, the failed broadside against the skeptics Why the Housing Boom Will Not Bust (from 2006), and the still later "oops-I-better-tweak-my-lousy-thesis" response, All Real Estate is Local. (By the way, this blog post tells a tale of Lereah's real estate investment prowess these days.)...
Fools, what bubbles up must eventually come down. It would just be nice if Lereah, the mortgage bankers, and the rest of the crowd would recognize the monster they've made and make real amends. But don't bet on it. Their paychecks depend on the myth of housing as an investment, rather than a sound living choice if purchased at the right price.
U.S. realtors are predicting that house prices will tumble this year for the first time since the 1960s...
And in sharp contrast to assurances from Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke, the National Association of Realtors acknowledged yesterday that the subprime lending collapse is already causing banks to tighten lending standards, and that it will prolong the housing slowdown...
The value of homes in some of the country's priciest markets are now falling by double digits, easily overwhelming broader price increases in many more cities where homes cost less...the median price is being driven down by sharp declines in some of the hottest markets during the long housing boom...
"We've never seen a distortion of this effect. . . . This is a weird event," NAR spokesman Walt Molony said.
That's because house prices are rising in a vast swath of the country, including much of the mid-Atlantic, the Northeast, Midwest and Texas.
Mr. Molony said the distortion is so significant that the NAR is working on an adjusted median price to better reflect what's actually happening in most of the country.
NAR has also scaled back its estimate for the volume of sales, which will see an uncharacteristic retreat.
Clearly, the real estate industry's modus operandi is:
"If there is no way to spin the data in our favor, then change the way we calculate the data until we get the numbers that we like."Are you mad yet?
This has become a war. A war of perceptions. We have the lying, manipulating, corrupt real estate industry on the one side. And on the other side is the American buying public and our communities. Which banner are you going to rally behind?
And truly, how healthy can a market really be when it is highly dependent on belief and perception and the manipulation thereof?
People in Marin are not particularly religious, that's a fact, but they know all about militant blind faith.
*Thanks Chuck, Lander for the link.