- The Big Picture - http://www.ritholtz.com/blog -

Former NAR Economist David Lereah is a Jackass

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On January 6, 2009 @ 6:45 am In Contrary Indicators,Legal,Real Estate,Really, really bad calls | Comments Disabled

Alternative Title: David Lereah: Even More Full of Shit Than Previously Believed

>

Of all the various parties who contributed to the boom and bust in housing and credit, none have escaped more unscathed than the National Association of Realtors, and their former Baghdad-Bob-in-Chief, David Lereah.

The NAR turned a blind eye to fraud amongst realtors in terms of referrals to corrupt appraisers and mortgage brokers. They constantly cheerleaded prices, despite evidence to the contrary. For 3 years, they have been forecasting 2nd half price recoveries, dissuading realism amongst home sellers. They continually spun data, presented misleading commentary, and otherwise engaged in behavior that could only be characterized as sleazy.

I find EVERYTHING out of the NAR to be suspect, tainted and generally worthless. The NAR Housing Affordability Index [1] is essentially worthless; from 1989 – 2009, the NAR showed housing as “Unaffordable” for just one month.

If you have any doubts as to whether or not the NAR are a bunch of shameless, lying hucksters who deserve to have glass catheters inserted in their Urethras then shattered, consider this:

Working for realtors, David Lereah was famously optimistic. Not anymore.
By Donna Rosato

As chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, David Lereah was famously optimistic. Now a private consultant, he’s abandoned what he calls the “positive spin.”

Q: Were you wrong to be so bullish?
A: I worked for an association promoting housing, and it was my job to represent their interests. If you look at my actual forecasts, the numbers were right inline with most forecasts. The difference was that I put a positive spin on it It was easy to do during boom times, harder when times weren’t good. I never thought the whole national real estate market would burst.

Q: The NAR’s latest forecast calls for a slight increase in home prices next year. Thoughts?
A: My views are quite different now. I’m pretty bearish and have been for the past year and a half. Home prices will continue to drop. I think we’ll see a very modest recovery in sales activity in 2009. But we’ve still got excess inventories, a bad economy and a credit crunch that will push prices down further, another 5% to 10% more. It’ll take a long time to get back
to the peak prices we saw in many markets.

Q: Any regrets?
A: I would not have done anything different. But I was a public spokesman writing about
housing having a good future. I was wrong. I have to take responsibility for that.

-DONNA ROSATO – Fri Dec 19 2008, 11:14

Ahhh, so he admits to being nothing more than a paid shill whose mouth was available for a price. How does that job description vary from the Trannies who hang out by the West Side Highway? In my book, not by very much. A whore is a whore is a whore. Anyone who pays attention to the garbage generated by the NAR is a fool.

Oh, and I’m presenting Wednesday at Global Connect:

A World of Innovation, today January 7 at the Marriott Marquis, on the main stage on Wednesday, January 7, 2009.

Session: Wednesday, January 7, 2009, 3:30 pm – 4:15 pm

Description: Bulls vs. Bears: A frank discussion of where we are in the cycle of housing prices.
Panel: Noah Rosenblatt, Nouriel Roubini, Lawrence Yun (NAR), Barry Ritholtz

Lereah’s replacement — Lawrence Yun — is also on the panel. He has yet to demonstrate whether he will be an improvement over Baghdad Bob Lereah.

>

Previously:
Realtors Get Real [2] (March 2007)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2007/03/quote-of-the-day-realtors-get-real/

Pending Home Sales Index, NAR Housing Market “Bottoms” [3] (January 2008)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/01/pending-home-sales-index-nar-housing-market-bottoms

How Counter-Productive is Realtor Association Spin? [4] (March 2008)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/03/how-counter-productive-is-realtor-association-spin/

NAR Housing Affordability Index is Worthless [1] (August 2008)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/08/nar-housing-affordability-index-is-worthless/

Source:
Former real estate bull admits, “I spun” [5]
VOL. 38, NO. 1 – January 2009 – Mon Dec 22 2008, 08:58

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/moneymag_archive/2009/01/01/toc.html

Confessions of a former real estate bull [6]
Donna Rosato,
Money Magazine, January 5, 2009: 10:30 AM ET

http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/05/real_estate/Lereah.moneymag/index.htm


Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/01/david-lereah-jackass/

URLs in this post:

[1] Housing Affordability Index: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/08/nar-housing-affordability-index-is-worthless/

[2] Realtors Get Real: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2007/03/quote-of-the-day-realtors-get-real/

[3] Pending Home Sales Index, NAR Housing Market “Bottoms”: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/01/pending-home-sales-index-nar-housing-market-bottoms

[4] How Counter-Productive is Realtor Association Spin?: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2008/03/how-counter-productive-is-realtor-association-spin/

[5] Former real estate bull admits, “I spun”: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/moneymag_archive/2009/01/01/toc.html

[6] Confessions of a former real estate bull: http://money.cnn.com/2009/01/05/real_estate/Lereah.moneymag/index.htm

Copyright © 2008 The Big Picture. All rights reserved.