Here's Seth. I'm not going to add anything. This is perfect. Well done. We need more MSM and columnists to go HousingPANIC.
Housing Worse, Despite Yelping NAR
By Seth Jayson
Sometimes you have to wonder what's coming out of the water cooler at National Association of Realtors (NAR) headquarters.
The past week has seen the trade group issue a slew of misleading press releases, all intended to jump-start a withering housing market and earn those Realtors a 6% commission. The latest is a prediction of a "modest recovery" for existing home sales in 2008. If you believe that, you need to review the NAR's hilarious history of ineptitude in predicting future home sales.
On the heels of the ridiculous kid-on-a-swing campaign, the Realtors, partying in Vegas, claimed that 2007 is a great year for housing, despite copious evidence that home prices are tanking at unprecedented and accelerating rates. The fire sales and lousy margins at homebuilders such as Hovnanian Enterprises (NYSE: HOV), Pulte Homes (NYSE: PHM), and D.R. Horton (NYSE: DHI) provide more proof that prices are crashing.
How can the NAR make such a bogus claim, then? Because by their (unsophisticated) measurements, home prices are still near record levels. That's like saying 2000 was a great year for JDS Uniphase.
Memo to the commission-addled non-thinkers at the NAR: We're on the back side of a bubble. It takes a while for home prices to drop, but they are dropping.
The folks who bought in at the top, based on the NAR's constant stream of "now is a great time to buy" propaganda are now looking at major, leveraged losses in equity. Many will lose everything in foreclosure and bankruptcy.