The Life and Lies of the National Association of Real Estate

With this morning’s latest release of pending home sales data, and the inevitable NAR spinning of the figures — it’s bottomed! it’s bottomed! — here is a nice summary of the life and lies of the NAR in its deliriously wrong previous spinning of real estate releases:

August 2005:

“All of the doom and gloom forecasts of a housing debacle are not only irresponsible, but also downright wrong.” –David Lereah, National Association of Realtors

April 3, 2006:
Feb pending home sales index down 0.8 pct: NAR
Pending sales of U.S. homes edged lower in February, but a big upward revision to the previous month’s data may suggest the housing market’s cool-off period is nearly over, [the National Association of Realtors] said on Monday.  – Reuters
NAR: “We can expect a historically strong housing market moving forward, earmarked by generally balanced conditions across the country and fairly stable levels of home sales with some month-to-month fluctuations.”

June 27, 2006:
Sales of Existing Homes Fall in May
Sales of existing homes fell for the third time in the past five month in May, with the weakness led by a big drop in demand in the Northeast.  The National Association of Realtors reported that sales of previously owned homes dropped by 1.2 percent in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.67 million.  – Yahoo! news
NAR: “Right now we are on course for a soft-landing in housing.”

October 25, 2006:
Homes sales, prices drop in September
The National Association of Realtors said sales of previously owned homes fell 1.9% in September to a seasonally adjusted sales pace of 6.18 million units, slowest sales rate since January 2004.  – Associated Press
NAR: “The worst is behind us, as far as a market correction – this is likely the trough for sales. When consumers recognize that home sales are stabilizing, we’ll see the buyers who’ve been on the sidelines get back into the market.”

December 4, 2006:
Pending Home Sales Tumble
The National Association of Realtors’ index for pending sales of existing homes decreased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.7% to 107.2 from September’s 109.1, the industry group said.  Its index, based on signed contracts for used homes, was 13.2% below the level of October 2005.  – Wall Street Journal
NAR: “It’s important to focus on where the housing market is now – it appears to be stabilizing, and comparisons with an unsustainable boom mask the fact that home sales remain historically high – they’ll stay that way through 2007.”

February 15, 2007:
Record home price slump
The slump in home prices was both deeper and more widespread than ever in the fourth quarter, according to a trade group report Thursday. – CNN/
NAR: “At least the bottom a ppears to have already occurred.  It looks like figures will be improving.”

June 6, 2007:
Home Sales, Prices to Slip Further in 2007: NAR Home sales and prices will fall at a faster pace in 2007 than originally expected, a leading U.S. real estate trade  association said on Wednesday.   – Reuters

NAR: “Home sales will probably fluctuate in a narrow range in the short run, but gradually trend upward with improving activity by the end of the year.”

August 8, 2007:

Existing-Home-Sales Forecast Lowered In its latest forecast for the real estate market,

NAR on Wednesday projected that existing home sales will fall 6.8%  this year to 6.04 million, compared with its previous forecast of a 5.6% decline. – Wall Street Journal NAR: “Existing-home sales should be relatively stable over the next few months, holding in a modest range, with some pent-up demand growing from buyers who’ve been on the sidelines.”

October 10, 2007:

Realtors group lowers sales forecast The decline in sales of existing homes this year will be steeper than previously anticipated, a trade group for real estate agents said Wednesday.  The eighth straight downwardly revised forecast from the National Association of Realtors calls for U.S. existing home sales to be 10.8 percent lower than last year as housing market struggles persist.  – Yahoo! news

NAR: “The speculative excesses have been removed from the market and home sales are returning to fundamentally healthy levels…”

November 15, 2007:

Realtors revise home sales forecast lower again The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that sales of existing homes in the U.S. are expected to decline to a five-year low this year, and the outlook for 2008 is worsening.  – USA Today

NAR: “It is possible for even higher home sales activity than we’re forecasting if buyers regain their confidence.”

December 10, 2007:

Housing market is stabilizing, optimistic Realtors say Bucking conventional wisdom, a trade group for real estate agents said Monday that the battered housing market is on the verge of stabilizing and inched up its outlook for 2007 and 2008 home sales.  The revised monthly forecast from the National Association of Realtors, which followed nine straight months of downward revisions, calls for U.S. existing home sales to fall 12.5% this year to 5.67 million – the lowest level since 2002. – USA Today

[Investech via Barry ]


  1. whatever, they have blinders on and will continue to wear them.

  2. Realtors aren’t alone in this…I think it’s a principle of business that you can’t ask someone how their own industry how it’s going…it’s like asking a politician if he thinks he’s the best candidate.
    Every banker I know is saying some version of “fortunately here at [pick name of bank], we don’t have a lot of exposure to the subprime mess.”

  3. “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”

  4. Hmm. You could to the same post about several bloggers’ recession predictions over the last three years …