NAR puts a good face on some really ugly housing data

Posted by: Prashant Gopal on May 13, 2008

It must be be getting tough for the National Association of Realtors to put a positive spin on the real estate market when prices in most of the more than 150 metro areas that it monitors are down and, in many cases, way, way down.

But the group and its optimistic chief economist Lawrence Yun appear to be up for the challenge, judging from the May 13 first quarter home price press release with the title: “Mixed Home Price Performance Continues in Metro Areas, One-Third Show Gains.”

A better title might have been: “Two-Thirds of Metro Areas See Price Drops as the NAR Reports the Largest Quarterly Home Price Decline Since it Began Releasing Price Data in 1982.”

The median home price for single-family homes fell 7.7% in the first quarter compared to a year earlier. The Sacramento metro area first-quarter median home price dropped a startling 29%. The median home price in Lansing, Mich. fell 27%. And in Sarasota, Fla. the median price declined 22%. Eight metro areas saw price drops of more than 20%. Only three metros saw increases of more than 10%.

But the press release skips over the big declines in California, Nevada, Florida, Arizona and Tennessee metros and notes, instead, that Binghamton, N.Y. median prices rose 11.8% from a year ago, prices in Peoria, Ill. jumped 10.4% and Spartanburg, S.C. home values leaped 10.1%.

Yun says that slowing sales in high-price areas is dragging down the national median home price and “the numbers don’t tell the whole story.”

Reader Comments

dunno

May 13, 2008 3:36 PM

In other words, they put lipstick on a pig

Ruthmarie Hicks

May 23, 2008 6:47 PM

NAR needs to get over itself. Realtors are members of NAR because they have no CHOICE. Every time I see another lame press release from them I cringe that I actually (through dues) helped PAY for this ad. They aren't even putting lipstick on a pig because most people who do that can make the pig LOOK good! They can't even do that.

Real estate is very, very local. It is so local that some areas that I service I feel its time to buy and other areas - not yet. One village is doing well another town is not. Inventory levels range from 4 months to 8 months in my area. Sellers market for 4 months, buyers market for 8 months.

The need to buy/sell - is very, very individual. I would buy in markets where everyone else is running away. That's where the bargains are.

Also, buy LOCATION. Being near public transportation, being near a shopping (walk to stores) and entertainment if possible. This will create long-term gains. Energy problems aren't going away and these areas will be in high demand - and over time rise in value.

Realist

May 27, 2008 11:57 PM

One can't expect the industry to also regulate itself, while all the time working with a motive to maximize commissions(profit). This expectation to have an industry regulate itself is laughable! Like having the wolf guard the sheep!

Mark

May 28, 2008 12:27 AM

Lawrence Yun has ZERO credibility, as does the pathetic organization he represents.

Two words for you: OVER-PAID SHILLS!!

katyja

May 28, 2008 12:32 AM

There is one thing we can always count on the NAR to do, and that is to outright LIE to the American people when it comes to housing numbers.

They are in business to do two things- Keep people buying these over-valued debt traps at any cost, and Preserve their 6% commissions and realtor-generated fees.

Wake up people!

Say What?

May 28, 2008 12:36 AM

To Ms. Hisks: What planet are you on? In California, itty bitty 700 sq ft houses built in 1912 which have more termites in them than nails were being sold to the homeless with no down payment, no income, no assets. These "enterprising" Realtards were able to pay the homeless to buy these dumps. They sold for $350/sq foot in 2005 and now they are down to $250/sq ft today. These dumps are scrapers, and should be bulldozed. These have the amenities such as "location", shopping, public transportation, entertainment, and of course illegal alien gangs. They might be worth 10-15 dollars sq ft for a future parking lot. We have a LOOONG way to go to clear this crap out of the market.

Say What?

May 28, 2008 12:37 AM

To Ms. Hisks: What planet are you on? In California, itty bitty 700 sq ft houses built in 1912 which have more termites in them than nails were being sold to the homeless with no down payment, no income, no assets. These "enterprising" Realtards were able to pay the homeless to buy these dumps. They sold for $350/sq foot in 2005 and now they are down to $250/sq ft today. These dumps are scrapers, and should be bulldozed. These have the amenities such as "location", shopping, public transportation, entertainment, and of course illegal alien gangs. They might be worth 10-15 dollars sq ft for a future parking lot. We have a LOOONG way to go to clear this crap out of the market.

Joe

May 28, 2008 3:02 AM

PLEASE, Enough BS. Lawrence yun and the NAR and all Realtards (retarded realtors) shut up. ENOUGH I've had it. One more BS story from a realtor and I just might spit in her/his face.

WannaBe

May 28, 2008 11:39 AM

If ANYONE believes anything the NAR puts out these days, DESERVES TO LOOSE ALL THEIR MONEY.

GW

May 28, 2008 2:34 PM

> If ANYONE believes anything the NAR puts out these days, DESERVES TO LOOSE ALL THEIR MONEY.

They also deserve to be castrated. We don't need idiots polluting the gene pool.

Tim Delacroix

May 28, 2008 2:48 PM

I prefer the term "realwhore" because they will tell you anything to get your money. Opportunists who walk around taking commissions on other peoples' deals. At least a used car salesman carries the inventory.

John

May 28, 2008 6:45 PM

Maybe the NAR has the WMD's? Looks like BS is what American has been running on for about 30 years now.

Rand

May 28, 2008 7:48 PM

Check out Trulia.com and RedFin.com Maybe the NAR is going to be a thing of the past.

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About

BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.

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