May 21, 2008

Jay Butler, Director of "Real-Estate Studies" at Arizona State University, flunks out


Other blogs like housingdoom have always been a bit dubious of Butler and his reports - almost as much as we've taken on the hilariously corrupt Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, and their paid REIC shill Nicholas Retsinas.

But I haven't been too hard though on Butler, because he hasn't been stupid enough to attack HP'ers, unlike "Chicken Littles" Retsinas. And he's had some
good quotes now that it's too late.

That said, the biggest housing bubble in America, and now one of the biggest real estate crashes, happened right under Butler's nose in Phoenix Arizona. And when he could have been and should have been shouting at the top of his lungs in 2004, 2005 and 2006 that wild illegal fraud and rampant speculation had gripped the Arizona real estate market and doing something about it, he did nothing, while putting out misleading soothing reports, and calling bottom every chance he could.

Well, today the chickens really came home to roost, and the REIC-ad-supported Arizona Republic (don't worry, it's a real reporter on the beat, not rolodex-of-realtors-Reagor) actually did their job for a change and exposed Butler's Arizona housing reports as a total farce.

Cheers to the Republic for exposing this mess. And I fully expect Butler to admit to his glaring error, and if he has any honor, to resign immediately. ASU isn't a legit school anyway, but when the people of Arizona needed 'experts' they could trust, they got Butler. And Swann. And Reagor. And now one hell of a housing mess on their hands.

Valley home-sales reports are at odds - Trustee-sales figures skew real-estate picture

One sign of the Valley's troubled housing market is the growing incidence of lenders assuming ownership of homes.

Ironically, the increasing number of those transactions has led to a false perception that the real-estate market may be showing signs of recovery.

The confusion stems from a report on April home sales by Jay Butler, director of real-estate studies at Arizona State University's Morrison School of Management and Agribusiness.

Butler compiles a report each month on home-resale transactions in Maricopa County.

The report said home resales were up 15 percent compared with the same month in 2007, the first year-over-year increase since July 2005.

That conflicts with a report released Monday by the Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service indicating a 12 percent decrease in home sales in the same period.

The reason is Butler's report does not differentiate between "trustee sales," in which banks take over properties from borrowers in default, and routine home resales.

More than one-third of the sales reported by Butler for April, or 2,025 of the 5,585 total, were trustee sales.

When real-estate consultant Scott Smith saw Butler's latest report, Smith said he knew something was wrong with the numbers. Smith, who owns a real-estate services firm and tracks area home sales "on a daily basis," said Butler's April sales figures were simply too high.

"After checking the data several times . . . there is no doubt that Mr. Butler made a big mistake," Smith said.

14 comments:

mrd said...

Why the ASU hate?

ASU is not a high ranking school, but it is not at the bottom either. Probably about half of the people who have graduated college, did so from a lesser institution.

I'm not saying ASU is great. I will say that it is legit and you are just acting like a snob.

Anonymous said...

ASU is a joke and pretty much explains the rampant stupidity and ignorance all across Arizona.

keith said...

In my experience, ASU is a party school where kids don't go to study. In fact, the libraries are generally empty. Nothing wrong with that - partying is a major part of college. Just taken to a professional level at ASU.

Comparing ASU to real universities like Harvard, Yale, Michigan, Stanford, etc is a non-starter. Two different worlds.

A university degree doesn't make you smarter. But studying and learning does, and that doesn't happen at ASU like it does at other schools. But with all the 'distractions' at ASU, I wouldn't have studied much either!

That's my take.

That said, Butler at ASU and Retsinas at Harvard both show that you don't have to be smart to be the head of a Real Estate Studies department. Probably just have to be good friends with realtors, builders and developers mainly.

Anonymous said...

There is an important side issue to all of this as well.

Butler himself has made it possible to distill the explanation for his behavior down to a very few possibilities:

1) he is a most inept and egregious liar
2) he is an utter incompetent
3) he is both 1 and 2 above

So, how is it that he still is given any credibility and how is it that he still holds a job in academia?

happy homeowner in the stix said...

Your "proof" that ASU isn't a real school is an article from Taco Tech dated 2002 about a Playboy mail-in survey?

Okay....yeah.....how deep did you have to dig for that one?

(Note: I am an alum from ASU. Best five year nap of my life! Thanks Mom & Dad!!)

DOPES said...

ELVIS DOES SWAN:

YOU AIN'T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG...

LYING ALL THE TIME...

YOU AINT NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG...

LYING ALL THE TIME...

WELL, YOU AINT NEVER SOLD A HOUSE...

AND YOU AIN'T NO FRIEND OF MINE...


WHEN THEY SAID YOU WAS HIGH CLASSED...

WELL, THAT WAS JUST A LIE...

YEAH, THEY SAID YOU WERE HIGH CLASSED...

WELL, THAT WAS JUST A LIE...

YOU AIN'T NOTHING BUT A HOUND DOG...

LYING TO GET A DIME...

YEAH, YOU AIN'T NEVER SOLD A HOUSE...

AND YOU AIN'T NO FRIEND OF MINE...

DOPES!!!

Anonymous said...

There's another fake economist in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area famous for giving soothing quotes to the Virginia Pilot...

Time to start working that one over too...

satan is a republican said...

mrd must have some ties to ASU. You're proving the point that you hope to dispel about the "ASU hate". The original article is about real estate studies done by Jay Butler and not on ASU's suitability as an academic institution. Or do you believe that real estate studies are the only academic course of study at ASU?

I'll take a huge risk and guess that critical thinking skills aren't your strong point.

Anonymous said...

"After checking the data several times . . . there is no doubt that Mr. Butler made a big mistake," Smith said."

Remove 'data' and insert Bushco.
Remove "Mr. Butler" and insert American Voters.

Priceless

Anonymous said...

The whole Libertarian experiment of the last seven years is a total failure. Republicans & Libertarians say "government doesn't work." And when they are in office, they are 100% correct about that.

Arizona Jake said...

Is anyone really dumb enough to believe this was an innocent mistake/oversite on Butler's part. He knew exactly what he was doing, and what he was doing as a shill of the Phoenix REIC was trying to cook the books so potential homebuyers would think things were improving and therefore it was time to buy a home. To save the tiny shred of credibility he has left he needs to resign immediately.

Anonymous said...

If you think that ASU is the only college where most of the student body is composed of idiots, then you are kidding yourself. I am an ASU alum...and yes, there are plenty of morons there who probably shouldn't even have a high school diploma. But its like that at every state school. I went to grad school in Texas, and it was the same thing. Every school I have visited, I have always encountered idiots. So its more of a reflection of the culture at American universities, rather than at one particular school.

Reality said...

Anon 4:35,

Since when is the last 7-yr experiment Libertarian at all? Libertarians were agains the war in Iraq; Libertarians were against the huge prescription drug entitlement, the biggest expansion of entitlement program in the last two decades; Libertarians are against government promoting loans to unqualified borrowers; Libertarians are against Central Banking running and ruining our lives in those manic/depressive cycles.

MRD said...

Dear Satan is a republican:

It was clearly stated in this blog that "ASU isn't a legit school anyway". You can question my analytical skills all you would like. I can, however, read.

Yes I have ties to ASU: Currently an assistant research professor in nuclear/particle physics.

I have worked with some excellent students here at ASU.

Perhaps it is a breeze for someone to graduate ASU in business. I do not know. I do know that it is NOT easy to get good grades in physics at ASU. It takes a lot of work. These students take three semesters of quantum mechanics and many are well prepared to go onto top graduate schools. In fact, one of the students I most recently worked with is going on to graduate school at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) this Fall. (The US News ranks this university as #8 for physics graduate programs.)

To pretend that these students are breezing through school is wrong.