It’s a great time to buy or sell a home!

In fact, its such a good time, that the National Association of Realtors decided they need to drop $40 million telling you so:

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Buy the way, imagine if a Fund manager or analyst ever said: XYZ? Oh, yeah, its a great time to BUY OR SELL that. (They would cart them away).

Here’s the NYT take on this:

“Just as dairy associations, with their widespread ads, have tried to convince Americans of the many benefits of milk, the National Association of Realtors
will begin promoting the notion that buying a home is an unalloyed good
in a $40 million campaign that boldly declares: “It’s a great time to
buy or sell a home.”

Gee, you almost think these guys are transactional based or something, taking a cut of any buy or sell. But wait, there’s more:

“The ads will try to counter the drumbeat of
dour housing data and news by making the case that historically low
interest rates, a large supply of homes on the market and the group’s
forecast of rising prices next year make now an ideal time to buy a
home.

The campaign, which was developed by the Most Agency,
based in Newport Beach, Calif., starts today with full-page ads in The
Wall Street Journal and USA Today. It will make its way into other
newspapers, including The New York Times, over the weekend and onto
television and radio networks early next year…

Independent
economists, however, are somewhat more skeptical. Many predict that
sales and prices, as measured by the association, which fell in August
and September from a year ago, may decline further because there are
too many homes on the market and because the rapid run-up in prices has
put homeownership out of reach of many.”

Good stuff. Here is my very favorite part:

“Showing how perilous the art of
forecasting can be, the ad by the National Association of Realtors
cites a 4.3 percent increase in the number of existing home sales
contracts signed in August, from July, as evidence that “prices over
all have stabilized.”

But Wednesday, new data released by the
association showed that contract signings fell 1.1 percent in
September, from August, and 13.6 percent from September 2005. A
spokesman said that the first ads were prepared before the latest
figures were available and would be updated next week.

Mr.
Stevens dismissed the idea that the campaign, the first of its kind
undertaken by the association, could be viewed as a sign of
desperation
. . .” (emphasis added)

Desperation?!? Whatever could they be talking about?

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Sources:
Realtors Say the Stars Are Aligned for Housing
VIKAS BAJAJ
NYT, November 3, 2006

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/03/business/03home.html

Download a full-size version of the ad (PDF, 100k)
(to display on your office wall or include in promotional packets for potential buyers)

Learn the points to make with customers who are hesitating about buying now

Download a fact sheet (PDF, 100k)

Category: Economy, Real Estate

NFP: Retiring the Over/Under Bet

Category: Data Analysis, Employment

Blog Spotlight: Abnormal Returns

Another edition of our new series:  Blog Spotlight.

We put together a short list of excellent but somewhat overlooked
blog that deserves a greater audience. Expect to see a post from a
different featured blogger here every Tuesday and Thursday evening,
around 7pm.

Up next in our Blogger SpotlightAbnormal Returns. AR is a year old blog written by a private investor with
nearly two decades of experience in the markets.  His experience
includes a stint in a variety of roles with a mainstream investment
management organization, extensive publications in the practitioner
literature, and a hedge fund start-up.  The Abnormal Returns blog is
focused on investor education and unearthing items of interest for the
investment blogosphere.

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Abnormal_returns

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Today’s focus commentary looks at Stock Replacement Strategies in the Spotlight

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Stock
Replacement Strategies in the Spotlight

Seldom a day goes by
without the financial press reporting on some new financial product innovation. 
We have been attuned to the fact that with this increase in choice also comes a
need for education and proper context. 
While
ETFs are clearly the most visible
innovation, the list does
not end there.  Option volumes have
also
surged
showing an increasing
interest on the part of investors to more closely match their viewpoint with the
most appropriate financial instrument.

We
here at
Abnormal
Returns
do not claim to be
options experts, but the time is right to explore an interesting options-related
opportunity.  The stock market, measured by the S&P 500, has run up from a
June low of some 1220 to a recent high of nearly 1390, for a gain of some 14%. 
With some
valuation
and
technical
measures becoming a bit overextended it should not come as surprise that some
investors are looking to reduce their overall market exposure.

Read More

Category: Blog Spotlight

Retail Sales: So much for the “Gasoline Effect”

Category: Retail

Retail Preview & Update

Category: Economy, Psychology, Retail

Blogger’s Take: Hard or Soft Landing ?

Category: Blog Spotlight

Home Price Indexes, Prices

Category: Economy, Real Estate

Goldilocks Gets Eaten

Category: Economy, Markets, Psychology

Blog Spotlight: The Street Light

Category: Blog Spotlight

Conspiracy Theories?

Category: Energy, Markets, Politics