David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, disagrees with the severity of the price downturn in the report.Is Mr. Lereah saying that if people's retirement did not depend on the housing market then he would use the term 'crash' like Moody's did? If the housing market was indeed based on fundamentals, in the bubble markets using the term 'crash' would not become a 'self-fulfilling prophecy.'
"It's possible we could go under zero, if you include prices of new homes" along with sales data for existing homes, he said. "For existing homes, I'm still predicting that prices will be above [last year] by 2 percent."
Nonetheless, Lereah agreed that broad price declines in some regions are unavoidable.
"I don't think I would use the word `crash,'" he said. "When you use a word like that, it's almost a self-fulfilling prophecy in the housing market. These are people's homes. Their retirement is depending on it."
Mr. Lereah, you were one of the housing cheerleaders who encouraged people down this dangerous path. You even wrote two books promoting the housing boom. As Ben Jones wrote "Maybe the NAR should have been urging caution the past few years instead of cheering prices higher."