Monday, April 30, 2007

David Lereah To Leave Realtors and Join Move Inc.

David Lereah will be leaving the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and joining Move Inc in in mid May. According to a press release from the Realtors:

David Lereah, senior vice president and chief economist of the National Association of Realtors(R) for the past seven years, is joining Move Inc. as executive vice president of a new business entity, effective in mid-May.

Move Inc. operates NAR's official Web site, and

Not missing a beat, NAR's executive vice president and CEO, Dale Stinton, announced that:

"David is an expert on real estate and the economy, and his stature and expertise
enhanced NAR's position as the most credible source on economic and policy issues affecting the housing industry in the United States and abroad. We wish him the greatest success in his new endeavor."
Within a few weeks, David Lereah will no longer be working at the National Association of Realtors. Mr. Lereah has lost credibility during the past few years, as he cheered the housing bubble and then called a 'bottom' at least four times. Was he forced to leave because he lost credibility?

Soon, Mr. Lereah will be much less quoted in the mainstream press. Mr. Learah's reign of half truths, manipulations and cheerleading will soon be over.

Bubble Sphere Roundup

In the last two months the mainstream media has increased thier coverage of the housing decline significantly. Kudos!

Housing Panic continues to pound out the housing bubble message. He asks 'Why do desperate homedebtors think they get to set the price?'.

Not surprising: Litigation over the Subprime Mess

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Housing Bear Growls and Gets Heard

DrudgeReport: April 24

March Existing Home Sales Down; Realtors Falsely Blame Mother Nature

The Realtors are busy blaming mother nature for the significant decline in existing homes sales. According to the National Association of Realtors the 'bad winter weather' in February was the main reason for lousy sales in March.

Unusually bad winter weather in February curtailed home shopping, slowing sales that closed in March, which may have been dampened further by a decrease in subprime lending volume, according to the National Association of Realtors(R).
So how much of a decline was there in March?

After rising for three consecutive months, total existing-home sales --including single-family, townhouses, condominiums and co-ops -- fell 8.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of 6.12 million units in March from a pace of 6.68 million in February, and are 11.3 percent belowthe 6.90 million-unit level in March 2006.

The spinmeisters as the NAR are hard at work, spinning the latest numbers. Their chief economist cheerleader David Lereah was quoted as saying:

"For the last couple months we've been expecting a weather 'hit' on home sales finalized in March, but looking at overall activity in the first quarter we see that existing home sales averaged 6.41 million -- a figure that is moderately higher than the sales pace during the second half of 2006," he said. "We also may be seeing some losses as a result of the subprime fallout.However, this is masking improved fundamentals in the housing market, with lower mortgage interest rates and motivated sellers.

"It's too early to measure a significant impact from tighter lending standards, which should moderately dampen activity, but we're still looking for existing-home sales to gradually improve during the last half of 2007,"

The months supply of existing housing has increased 30% from 5.6 months in March 2006, to 7.3 months last month. Inventory of existing homes sales has increased 17.1% since March 2006. Regionally, non seasonally adjusted sales have fallen significantly compared to last year (Year over Year (YoY)):

  • West: -16.8%
  • Midwest: -11.5%
  • South: -16.0%
  • Northeast: -6.9%

Hold on Realtors! Not so fast! The worst region for year over year percentage declines for March for existing home sales were in the West. The National Association of Realtors blames "Unusually bad winter weather in February" for "slowing sales that closed in March". However, the weather in the West for the month of February was better then normal. This would put a major whole in the Realtors spin that the weather was to blame for lousy sales. Despite nice weather in the West, there was still a 16.8% percentage decline in home sales compared to March 2006 [which was the largest percentage decline of any region]. See below:

These numbers are lousy. Don't trust the spin the National Association of Realtors puts on their numbers. The US housing market is still undergoing decline. The spring housing season has been lousy for sellers and members of the Real Estate Industrial Complex (REIC).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Main Realtor Blog Is Inactive

The main Realtors' blog 'NAR in the News' has NOT been updated since January 11th. I guess they are not so attuned to the power of blogging.

Now they are promoting their website which apparently " is the world’s leading real estate site." Or say they claim. Oh, the Realtors' Association has claimed a lot.

Friday, April 20, 2007

More Homeowners Upside Down

As housing prices continue to fall in the Washington area, recent home buyers who wish to sell often find themselves 'upside down' on their mortgage. Via the Washington Post:

Jeffrey Taylor and his wife bought their dream home in Purcellville for $538,000 last August. Now they have to sell it because they are getting divorced and neither one can afford the mortgage alone.

The most they could get for it was $430,000. After paying all the real estate commissions and taxes, they will still owe the bank $118,000.

"Five months later, I lose $100,000," Taylor, a high school teacher, said. "I don't think I can take $100,000 into the stock market and lose it faster."
Their dream home quickly became a nightmare. They found themselves significantly upside down on their home. In Loudoun county prices have fallen farther then other DC area locations as it is a far outer suburb. These far outer suburbs (exurban) locations are will continue to be hit particular hard by the declining housing market. Just watch Queen Creek, Arizona.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

For Sale Signs in Dupont Circle

For Sale Signs in Dupont Circle (1600 block of 16th Street NW)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Excerpt from Lereah's Book March 2005

" I believe that in years to come historians will see the beginning of the twenty-first century as the "golden age" of real estate. And I want to persuade you to take advantage of this historic opportunity. "
["Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom? Why Home Values and Other Real Estate Investments will Climb Through the End of the Decade-And How To Profit From Them" March 2005, p4]

Rowhouse in Washington, DC

Rowhouse in Washington, DC

NAR Advocates Affordable Housing... HaHa!

The National Association of Realtors is advocating for affordable housing solutions:

"Is the first choice for consumers buying a home, Realtors® are in a unique position to advocate for effective solutions to today’s housing needs. By participating in Housing America 2007, Realtors® are strengthening their commitment to building communities by working to solve the critical issues associated with housing affordability.”"
This is laughable. The National Association of Realtors was cheering the housing boom and higher prices during 2001 - 2006 period.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Buyer Won't Settle at Crescent Condo In Downtown Silver Spring

Buyer won't settle at Crescent Condo In downtown Silver Spring. Check out this posting on Craigslist:

Can someone pls recommend a real estate atty. The Crescent Condo in Silver Spring people are telling me that I'm in breach of contract because I didn't go to settlement. But the reason I didn't go to settlement is because their own people told me not to when the appraisal came in 60k under the contract price. They lied. I need help to terminate contract and get deposit back. Can anyone help?
Maybe Lance will buy this condo?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Bubble Sphere Roundup

The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter is now up to 50. The subprime mortgage market continues to decline. Will it spread up the chain to the Alt-A level? Yes Sir!

Las Vegas ain't hot anymore. Pick your poison: houses or at the casino? Housing Doom reporting on declining home values there.

The Baltimore Housing Blog has been hacked. Their new site is here. Great blog, keep up the excellent work. :-)

Patrick advocates against a subprime bailout. He asks "Why should everyone who was responsible and did not borrow too much for a house be asked to bail out the gamblers who did?"

Friday, April 06, 2007

David Lereah's New Book is Released

David Lereah has done it again. He has written yet another book titled 'All Real Estate is Local: Why Understanding the Housing Trends in Your Area Is Essential to Building Wealth.' The book was just released on April 3rd, 2007. It should have been released two days earlier.

From the Publisher:

Book Description

When real estate booms nationally, there are hundreds of cities and regions that lag behind. Similarly, when the market slows or flattens, countless states and neighborhoods begin to boom. As Lereah makes clear, the most important factor in buying or selling a home is the local market conditions. Lereah shows readers how to:

  • Evaluate the values of homes in one's own town or county
  • Determine whether property values in your targeted neighborhood are on the rise
  • Assess the market conditions in locations when buying a vacation or second home
  • Learn how to identify markets that are overvalued or fully valued, and those that promise to appreciate more quickly in the future
  • Understand the local economic developments that can affect oneƂ’s investment in the future

There are countless books offering advice on making money in real estate. This is the first one to explain why knowing the ins and outs of your local region is essential to deciding when, and where, to buy.


Mr. Lereah tells half truths and manipulates facts and figures. He cannot be trusted as he is a paid shill. Don't buy his book. Figure out ways to mock his book!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Inventory in Northern Virginia Increasing

The number of available listings in Northern Virginia has increased 13.4% in the past month, from 13,081 on March 3rd to 14,837 as of April 3rd. (Source:

Monday, April 02, 2007

Subprime Mortgage Meltdown

The subprime mortagge market is in meltdown mode. Today, New Century, who in 2Q 2006 was the third largest subprime lender file for bankrupcty. Responding to the subprime mess, David Lereah declared "It's problematic, but not catastrophic." Bloomberg reported:

Sales of bonds backed by subprime mortgages are tumbling as investors and bankers, concerned about rising delinquency rates, pull back from what had been one of Wall Street's fastest growing businesses.

About $79.3 billion of securities backed mainly by loans to people with poor credit or high amounts of debt were issued this year, down 37 percent from $125 billion in the same period last year, according to a March 30 Citigroup Inc. report.

The subprime meltdown is already being felt across the nation. Once the spring / summer buying season has flopped, and we head into fall, the market will undergo a sharper decline.

P.S. The national foreclosure rate is about to increase dramatically as a big wave of ARMs reset and the economy falters.