Friday, December 08, 2006

National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)

National Association of Home Builders, National Housing Center located in Washington. Part of the Housing Industrial Complex.

On the front page of their website they write 'It's a great time to buy.' and 'making today's economic environment the perfect one in which to buy a home.'

For the home builders it is always a good time to buy. According to them has it ever been a mediocre time to buy?

Ha!

38 comments:

  1. Well, over the long term, has there ever been a ten year period where buying has been a mistake? Of course it is optimal to buy at the bottom of a cycle, but how, absent the 20/20 of hindsight, do you determine the bottom?

    One thing is clear (now), we are off the peaks of this current cycle. So some of the downside risk has been eliminated. Nothing is ever risk-free. You can always hoard cash or gold and hope that inflation doesn't wipe you out.

    In the short term prices may drop further, may stabilize, or may go up. In the long term, history suggests that prices will increase. So make your best guess and proceed accordingly.

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  2. Auto manufacturers always say it's the perfect time to buy a new car. PC manufacturers always say it's the perfect time to buy a new PC. Why should the homebuilding industry be any different?

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  3. Hey, it is a good time to buy... as long as you don't mind being a debt slave to that house for the next 40 years.

    I've become jaded, these sorts of reports don't even spike my adrinaline.

    I'm off to blog on all of the sub-prime lenders. :)

    Neil

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  4. What a great time to buy! Nothing quite like the experience of boarding the rollercoaster at the top!

    Then again, how often do you see a salesman say "right now is a bad time to buy my product"?

    http://vancouvercondo.info

    ReplyDelete
  5. for those that are interested in FACTS please check this page:
    http://www.bandasectorwatch.com/bigpic.html. there is an excellent chart posted here showing a multitude (depending where you start and stop) of ten year periods where buying real estate would have been a mistake. regardless of what the perma bulls say TIMING is everything in a market.

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  6. And there she goes again. Thanks, VA "Investor," for the insight.

    When cashflows from real estate "investments" reflect the "risk" you've pointed out, I'll be a buyer. We are nowhere near that level yet. And rental inventory continues to swell in our area. Even I thought rents would rise, due to fear of buying. I think I was wrong. Rents are going to fall.

    And when house prices in our area return to a semblance of their historical relationship to incomes and comparable rents, I will be the first one to recommend purchase - for the long term.

    We are nowhere near those levels. It is going to get worse. Much worse. At least, for those currently "invested."

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  7. Granted, one cannot determine the bottom until you already see it, and then it's too late for the bottom. But buying right after the bottom shouldn't be that bad either. I would expect that point will be a lot lower than the peak when this is all over.

    If you have 10 years, great, go ahead and buy if you have to. However, I expect a lot of people who are priced out, or qualified but still waiting (i.e. wanna-be first time home buyers), in the DC area, still consider themselves to be potentially mobile.

    Not everyone can wait a decade. I believe the average time an owner stays in a house is slightly less than a decade. Most people my age don't stay in a house for longer than 5 years. They get married, move in, have their kids, and move out to a better school district before they are in kindergarten.

    Buying a home is usually the biggest purchase of a person's life. This isn't hoarding some cash or gold. This is the biggest purchase of a person's life AND an illiquid investment. I think some caution is warranted here.

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  8. The large real estate inventories suggest that the equilibrium price (the theoretical price where supply equals demand) has fallen below the market price (the actual price housing is selling for). This pricing difference has occurred because real estate prices are sticky when falling. The fact that equilibrium prices are below market prices suggests that people buying homes now are overpaying. In other words, it's a terrible time to buy a home.

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  9. Larry Nusbaum is another sshill for the RE bubble.

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  10. From the nahb site:

    AS A FIRST-TIME BUYER, SHOULD I WAIT UNTIL PRICES GO LOWER TO BUY A HOME?

    No.

    If you continue to wait, you may never be able to afford to get into the housing market. Even as home prices are currently moderating – or even falling in some areas – rents continue to climb. The best way to build household wealth is to own a home. Once you become a home owner, you are able to take advantage of the generous tax deductions that homeownership offers, and you begin to build equity in your property. As your property builds in equity, you can use those gains to sell your starter home and afford to move into a bigger house.

    With so many homes on the market to choose from, your best strategy may be to scale back expectations for your dream starter-home. Instead of trying to buy a 2,000 square foot home, consider shopping for a 1,500 square foot home. Remember, the sooner you make the jump from renter to home owner, the quicker you begin to create and build up wealth for your family. After a few years, you will be able to leverage this investment and buy a larger house.


    I think I'm going to be sick.

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  11. "...has there ever been a ten year period where buying has been a mistake?"

    I think 2004-2014 will be it.

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  12. look out zillow now allows for free listings...byebye NAR see you at the travel agent association meeting....

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  13. va_investor said....Well, over the long term, has there ever been a ten year period where buying has been a mistake?


    yep there sure was, socal early 90's. i bought in '91 and didn't get back to "zero" until 2000.

    BTW this time the bubble is at least 4x larger so i expect the pain to be 4x worse. anybody who bought RE after 2000 is gonna be upside down,

    I'VE BEEN HERE I'VE SEEN THIS HAPPEN BEFORE.

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  14. Please change the link to 'Global House Price Crash' to http://forum.globalhousepricecrash.com
    thnx

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  15. can someone please organize a google bombing of housing key words?

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  16. va_investor,

    Yes. During the last downturn in New Jersey, many found themselves with declines greater than 20% (not inflation adjusted) after 10 or more years.

    http://njrereport.com/index.php/2006/10/23/new-jersey-condos-a-look-at-the-last-crash-2/

    Amazing how incorrect that meme is, yet it propogates as if it were a universal truth..

    jb

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  17. OT but more YOY price declines across the region:

    http://www.mris.com/reports/stats/route.cfm

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  18. These guys told us we had to buy now because we were going to be priced out forever. Now that the market is heading south they tell us it's a buyer's market - no better time to buy. They can't have it both ways!

    Today’s I released a FREE report on Chicago. The weird thing is that it looks normal (that's weird for a California native) It joins prior FREE reports on Boston, Bakersfield, San Francisco, Seattle & Los Angeles.
    thebubblebuster.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would have to agree with the NAHB. If you are looking for the best value in the past year, now is the time to buy. You can get huge incentives from builders and Resales, especially if you are willing to close now. You have a lot of homes to choose from, you can make deals, and rates are down.

    I wish I had waitied until now to buy.

    http://drbrightside.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thought you guys might appreciate this:

    http://www.flippernation.com/show/default.htm "The Blame Game"

    ReplyDelete
  21. David has abandoned us! It's been close to a week since any updates have been posting. Could David be out house hunting for a bargain? ... or just spending all his "rent" savings on Christmas gifts?! ;)

    ReplyDelete
  22. "David has abandoned us! It's been close to a week since any updates have been posting. Could David be out house hunting for a bargain? ... or just spending all his "rent" savings on Christmas gifts?! ;) "

    Readership is collapsing along with interest in housing bubble predictions. David and the rest have called for calamity for a long time, and it hadn't happened. People (including David) eventually lose interest.

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  23. "David and the rest have called for calamity for a long time, and it hadn't happened."

    Tell that to the victims in Ft. Myers, FL. Prices have fallen 44% year-over-year there. Oh, and it is becoming clear that the "official" numbers from both the industry and the government are masking declines and are thus worthless.

    Go tell sellers in our area that everything is just peachy - you should get their undivided attention. After all, there is NO ONE at their open houses.

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  24. anon 12:07 said:
    "Go tell sellers in our area that everything is just peachy - you should get their undivided attention. After all, there is NO ONE at their open houses."

    Ah ... another BH who thinks a home should be bought for what it can be re-sold for just months after having bought it. Too many people seem to have problems differentiating between advertising hype "Your home is your largest investment" and reality ... "It's an expense ... and it needs to be minimized over over the long term!" And the best way of doing that is buying something that fills your needs at the most reasonable cost possible at that moment and DON'T sell and trade it unless there are very compelling reasons to do so ... such as your needs have changed or your resources now allow you to "move up". But don't, for God's sake, think your home is an investment to be traded or bartered or whatever it is that people do with investments! 'cause it's NOT an investment ... it's an expense!

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Tell that to the victims in Ft. Myers, FL. Prices have fallen 44% year-over-year there. "

    I heard prices fell 100% in Mussington, Wisconsin!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Anonymous said...
    “Oh, and it is becoming clear that the "official" numbers from both the industry and the government are masking declines and are thus worthless.”

    You folks need an example?

    http://smhbn.blogspot.com/2006/11/how-to-screw-homebuyer-remax-style.html

    ReplyDelete
  27. Well, over the long term, has there ever been a ten year period where buying has been a mistake?
    Hundreds, search Wikipedia.

    1929 to 1939.

    Neil

    ReplyDelete
  28. Lance said...
    “Ah ... another BH who thinks a home should be bought for what it can be re-sold for just months after having bought it.”

    Quite the contrary Lance. I believe anon pointed out quite nicely that he’s sees that home prices have fallen 44% YOY in Ft. Myers, FL. I would then gather that he thinks he could buy a comparable home in Ft. Myers for much less than it would have sold for just months ago.

    “It's an expense ... and it needs to be minimized over over the long term!”

    Lance, one measure we BH’s have taken to minimize the long term expense is to wait and buy at a lower price. So far, it looks like it’s going to pay off.

    “And the best way of doing that is buying something that fills your needs at the most reasonable cost possible at that moment…”

    There’s no shortage of homes on the market that would fill my (and others) needs. You advocate minimizing expense, then reasonable cost, but yet tangled in the same breath we get a “buy something this moment” spiel. Median YOY prices are down yet again, but the good news Lance, is that we’re getting closer and closer to “reasonable cost”.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Robert said:
    "You advocate minimizing expense, then reasonable cost, but yet tangled in the same breath we get a “buy something this moment” spiel."

    No I don't. What I say is that an intelligent and savvy buyer who is willing to work hard at his purchase can make an affordable and decent purchase in any market at any time. That is NOT the same as "buy something this moment." ... Not even close. The people who have gotten themselves in trouble in Ft. Myers have done so because they just "bought" and didn't think ... didn't do the hard work it takes to research where you are buying, didn't do the hard work it takes to find something that makes sense price-wise under CURRENT conditions, didn't do the hard work it takes to negotiate the best deal under CURRENT conditions, etc. You and I are in fact in agreement about making intelligent buying decisions. Where we disagree is that you think the best way of doing that is to wait for the median market price to fall because of general economic factors. I instead believe you shouldn't be counting on things outside of your control and should instead do the best you can under actual and current conditions ... and in the longrun I believe I have a far greater chance of success in controlling price than you do, simply because I am working at controlling the price by putting work into controlling those aspects of the purchase that CAN be controlled. You instead are waiting for "good fortune" (or rather "general economic gloom) to hand you your "good purchase". Some people really do win lotteries and live well for the rest of their lives ... most of us have to work for what we get 'cause while a big "chance" happening is nice, it is just that, a "chance" happening ... and NOT very likely to occur. Did you see the latest economic figures this morning? The economy is still roaring ahead ... No gloom and doom on the horizon ...

    ReplyDelete
  30. Anonymous said...
    "Tell that to the victims in Ft. Myers, FL. Prices have fallen 44% year-over-year there."

    Sorry, I'm a bubblehead but I have to say that your 44% number is highly questionable. I just checked NAR's 3rd quarter metro area numbers and they don't list any metro area in the country where prices have fallen anywhere close to 44%.

    Please point us to your source for this statistic. Unless you can provide a source, we should assume that the statistic is fabricated.

    ReplyDelete
  31. James - Don't no where anony got his numbers, but look at the link, below, from the Herald Tribune. It says, 4th paragraph, that Ft. Myers-Coral Gables took the 44% hit and shows the median numbers. This is getting freakish, really.

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061129/BUSINESS/611290461

    ReplyDelete
  32. "
    Sorry, I'm a bubblehead but I have to say that your 44% number is highly questionable. I just checked NAR's 3rd quarter metro area numbers and they don't list any metro area in the country where prices have fallen anywhere close to 44%.

    Please point us to your source for this statistic. Unless you can provide a source, we should assume that the statistic is fabricated."



    I heard about one guy in the Tampa area - the Mayor paid *him* to take a house. And he gave him a bottle of wine too.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Lance said...
    “You and I are in fact in agreement about making intelligent buying decisions. Where we disagree is that you think the best way of doing that is to wait for the median market price to fall because of general economic factors.”

    Waiting for median market price to fall (which it has) is one aspect of intelligent buying, but it can/has been a large factor. Believe me, I and others like me are looking for deals within the deals and will negotiate further.

    “I instead believe you shouldn't be counting on things outside of your control and should instead do the best you can under actual and current conditions ...”

    It is within my control to not purchase, and as the last year has shown, buy a comparable house for less.

    “simply because I am working at controlling the price by putting work into controlling those aspects of the purchase that CAN be controlled.”

    What factors can be controlled Lance? How do you go about controlling them?

    “You instead are waiting for "good fortune" (or rather "general economic gloom) to hand you your "good purchase".”

    Median prices continue to fall and I see inventory is still high. No need to wait for “"general economic gloom”, but that would hurry things along a bit.

    “Some people really do win lotteries and live well for the rest of their lives ... most of us have to work for what we get 'cause while a big "chance" happening is nice, it is just that, a "chance" happening ... and NOT very likely to occur.”

    If I were to go out and purchase a home today, I would pay less for that home than if I purchased last year. Did I hit the lottery? Nope. Is this chance? Nope. Simply by not following the herd and ignoring the REI hype, and following the data/facts I’ve already saved some cash. Is this work? Hardly.

    “Did you see the latest economic figures this morning? The economy is still roaring ahead ... No gloom and doom on the horizon ...”

    Did you see the latest MRIS numbers? DC is down YOY…again.

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  34. The 44% drop has been quoted in some articles, but even though I am bearish about the housing market, even I will concede we are not talking apples to apples here. It is clear that the drop can be attributed to smaller, lower-priced houses still selling on the market, while the higher-priced, larger houses that used to move are not moving anymore. This tanks the median sale price. OFHEO data, while not perfect, is a better estimate of apples-to-apples comparisons.

    ReplyDelete
  35. dc_too said...
    James - Don't no where anony got his numbers, but look at the link, below, from the Herald Tribune. It says, 4th paragraph, that Ft. Myers-Coral Gables took the 44% hit and shows the median numbers. This is getting freakish, really.

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20061129/BUSINESS/611290461


    Thanks dc_too! I was going by the rule that "if it sounds too good (or bad) to be true, then it probably is," so I'm surprised to see that there's actually a source for the 44% statistic. Obviously Ft. Myers, FL, is an anomaly. I have to agree with chris_g's comments.

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  36. chris g said...
    “It is clear that the drop can be attributed to smaller, lower-priced houses still selling on the market, while the higher-priced, larger houses that used to move are not moving anymore.”

    While not Ft. Myers, and certainly not 44% the article did contain:


    After looking at about 40 homes in the $800,000 to $1 million range, Craig Aberle and his wife just landed a deal in a south Sarasota golf course community.

    The house they are buying was on the market for about a year, and they were able to get it for 20 percent less than the sellers were asking a year ago.

    "They wanted to move," said Aberle, who will close before the end of the year. "They were reluctant to take our offer, which was a strong offer, mostly cash. But we said, 'Look, this is all we are willing to spend, and there are several other houses.'

    "You're in a position where, if you want to be aggressive, you can play the sellers off against each other."


    Will this home, with a 20% price cut, be used as a comp for other high end homes in the area?

    ReplyDelete
  37. Also from the article:

    Anson said the 18 percent drop in home prices during October "was caused by homes in the region being overpriced," and she said the same is true across other classes of property.

    "We now have to come back to reality," she said. "I am explaining to my sellers in Myakka that the bubble has busted. They're not going to get $350,000-$400,000 for a 10-acre parcel like they used to. They'll get $200,000."

    ReplyDelete
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