The [thing] that strikes me is the positively bewildered expressions on the faces of the chief economists of both associations. These poor guys are tasked with telling everyone when it's all going to get better, and the fact of the matter is they just don't know. Don't get me wrong, these are supersmart guys, number crunchers with decades in the business, but as NAHB's David Seiders said, the risk in housing right now is just so high that it makes forecasting extremely difficult.Don't worry, the recovery is right around the corner, just like they predicted in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008...
The chief economist at Fannie Mae, Doug Duncan, spoke to the builders conference today and reminded folks here that forecasts are based on trends in history i.e., how did similar circumstances result in the past? But, as he astutely points out, there is no historical data, no past trend, no previous parameters by which to judge today's scenario. Never before were there so many borrowers who put down no equity, so many who declined to state income, so many with negative amortization loans.
Friday, October 24, 2008
The woe of housing economists
Diana Olick listens to the forecasts of housing economists: