A fun take on the RE bottom callers from Alan Abelson this morning:

“BARRY RITHOLTZ, FUSION IQ’S chief everything, has an engaging — often bordering-on-the-rabid — sense of humor. He’s also a skeptic, not only when he views the market and the economy, but that woolly place called Wall Street as well. His latest examination of the weird behavior of its inhabitants centers on their pronounced tendency to espy bottoms for one failing sector or another.

His acronym for this widespread compulsion is PWBC, which stands for perennially wrong bottom callers, who, he avers, run rampant among portfolio pros, sell-side analysts, realtors and media types assaying the housing industry. His riff we found especially appealing because it jibes with our less exhaustive (and exhausting ) observations.

Under the title “Yeah! The Housing Bottom is Here! (PWBC)” he proceeds to vent his bemusement at declarations of bottom sightings, along with excerpts from these cockeyed seers going back to 2006. All told, in the half-dozen years since then, which encompassed the worst housing collapse in history, he lists no fewer than 80 separate articles, analyses, explanations and the like pronouncing the turn in housing.

And Barry by no means claims that his sampling is anywhere near complete. The bad calls of a housing bottom, he says, occur every spring, as the data make their typical improvement. This year, the freakishly mild winter, he reports, threw the perennially wrong into a tizzy and suckered them into the same old joyously false belief of a bottom.

“Spring,” he exclaims, “has sprung, and the usual suspects are up to their old tricks.” Because there are so many PWBCs, he’s reluctant to make special mention of any one, but he can’t resist singling out Alan Greenspan, “who was wrong early and often,” and the National Association of Realtors, “whose spin has been astoundingly consistent — bullish and wrong.”

Very nice words . . .



Beware the Fiscal Cliff
Barron’s, JUNE 2, 2012

Category: Media, Real Estate, Really, really bad calls

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

8 Responses to “Housing Bottom Callers Redux”

  1. VennData says:

    Well one POV is that if we lowered Re commissions – as they are everywhere else in the world – that would make transactions cheaper ahd help the market.

  2. rktbrkr says:

    How about Jim Cramer as patron saint of the NAR housing PWBC

  3. dead hobo says:

    Look, if you remove all perennially wrong reporters, pundits, analysts, bloggers, blog commenters, tv talking heads, and personalities with opinions from their favored communication outlet, you will turn the internet and business news into an empty wasteland. Those who aren’t usually wrong are usually inept. Or criminals. What’s so special about real estate? Without market mythology, you have no market. Who else is going to buy your crap? (royal you, not you personally)

  4. H. Rider Haggard says:


    “Hey Rockie! Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!”

  5. Greg0658 says:

    Bullwinkle’s goof gas dance spoof
    Boris Badenough – Hey Rocky! (7″ 45 RPM Single Edit){Trax, 1986}
    “no brain no effect”

  6. Joe Friday says:

    The latest bottom-caller is Stan Humphries, the “Chief Economist” for Zillow, who hit all the right buzzwords during his interview: stabilization, bottoming process, homes sales up, improving prices, don’t wait because interest rates will rise, start shopping now !

    Tinkerbell says you must drink your Purple Kool-Aid.

  7. stuyfund says:

    This type of bearishness is exactly what I want to see as someone who is actually invested in the Las Vegas market. Funny how people who aren’t even in a given market can suddenly be experts. I’m profiting just fine, and there are tons of bids on any property that hits the MLS. That being said, places like NYC probably have some more downside.


    BR: Wait, didn’t you just question people’s expertise in areas outside of their own? And now you vegaspropertyinvesting guy are an expert in NYC markets also? Do you miss the Irony . . .

  8. kek says:

    stuyfund Says, Phoenix and the Valley have also been productive places to invest over the past year. Inventories are drying up, and properties are turning over quickly. Nothing like 60% of replacement to bring the buyers out. Raw land is also starting to move as homebuilders are beginning to build inventory. I am seeing first hand, shortages of cabinet grade lumber, steming from the multi family boom in the southwest.

    Lawn Gyland RE?, wouldn’t touch it.