Of all the various parties who contributed to the boom and bust in housing and credit, none have escaped more unscathed than the National Association of Realtors, and their former Baghdad-Bob-in-Chief, David Lereah.It is especially notable that mainstream journalists, while accusing many on Wall Street and in government of wrongdoing, has let the National Association of Realtors off the hook. I suspect the journalists are just protecting what they consider a valuable news source. "Don't bite the hand that feeds you," as the saying goes.
The NAR turned a blind eye to fraud amongst realtors in terms of referrals to corrupt appraisers and mortgage brokers. They constantly cheerleaded prices, despite evidence to the contrary. For 3 years, they have been forecasting 2nd half price recoveries, dissuading realism amongst home sellers. They continually spun data, presented misleading commentary, and otherwise engaged in behavior that could only be characterized as sleazy.
I find EVERYTHING out of the NAR to be suspect, tainted and generally worthless. The NAR Housing Affordability Index is essentially worthless; from 1989 - 2009, the NAR showed housing as “Unaffordable” for just one month.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Barry Ritholtz tears into the National Association of Realtors
Barry Ritholtz, who has one of the top ten econ blogs on the internet, recently tore into NAR: