But within the fraternity of financial and fiscal forecasters, the seers at the National Association of Realtors—longtime chief economist David Lereah and his successor Lawrence Yun—may be uniquely ill-equipped to deliver sobering forecasts. They work for a trade group whose mission is to buck up the spirits of real-estate brokers. And real-estate brokers—who live to sell, promote, and market—are constitutionally disinclined to hear anything but good news. Indeed, as I noted last summer, Lereah's penchant for putting out positive spin on dismal housing numbers inspired a blog and led critics to dub him the Baghdad Bob of real estate. Lereah has moved on. But Yun has picked up where he left off.
In addition to claiming that the sun is shining brilliantly even as rain pours down from the heavens in a mighty stream, Lereah and Yun have also hazarded optimistic, educated guesses about the future. In February 2005, Lereah published a book that is my candidate for Longest Title Ever: Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?: The Boom Will Not Bust and Why Property Values Will Continue To Climb Through the End of the Decade—And How To Profit From Them. Naturally, the boom busted soon after publication, and property values began to descend.
Thanks for the mention of my other blog (David Lereah Watch). Daniel Gross is right on the money when he writes "David Lereah and his successor Lawrence Yun—may be uniquely ill-equipped to deliver sobering forecasts." It is refreshing to read people in the press call out these paid shills from the NAR.