Wikinvest Wire

Where is Marshall Prentice?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yesterday, DataQuick released the Southern California real estate sales data for the month of June and, once again, President Marshall Prentice was nowhere to be found.

In fact, Dataquick has apparently hired a new president in one John Walsh, who has taken over the duty of providing commentary with each month's data release.

Where is Marshall "almost all if not all of those gains are here to stay" Prentice, whose late-2005 assurances about high real estate prices have appeared here repeatedly, nearly every month, for years?
The June report from DataQuick was much like every other report over the last year or two with the exception that home sales are now picking up in the most depressed areas where foreclosures make up an outsized proportion of the transactions.

Look at those sales in the Inland Empire counties of Riverside and San Berdu!
Of course, the main reason why sales volume has increased is because sales prices have been dropping like a rock.

In just a few short years, these once high-flying counties went from annual price increases of 30-40 percent to annual price declines of the same magnitude, the latest data indicating a 34 percent drop in San Bernardino and a 31 percent decline for Riverside.
Just in case something untoward has happened to Marshall, here's one last look at his commentary from the April sales report, in remembrance.

Marshall "almost all if not all of those gains are here to stay" Prentice, President of DataQuick, had these comments on the April data:
Quite a few more buyers stepped off the sidelines last month to snap up homes at substantial discounts relative to the market's short-lived peak. It's no surprise, given the magnitude of the price declines in inland areas and the fact sales have been so amazingly low for so long. We continue to look for evidence of a sales bounce in the mid-priced and higher-end markets along the coast. If the higher conforming loan limits are making a difference in those areas it's certainly not a large one, at least not as of the end of April.
John Walsh - you have big shoes to fill.


UPDATE: Thursday July 17th, 8:50 AM

Well, it seems one of the first orders of business for new President John Walsh was to wipe clean the online record of DataQuick forecasts. None of the old data at DataQuick is available anymore, at least not at the old locations - the second link above to the November 2005 report takes you to the main DataQuick page as do all the other links from around that time period that were sampled here.

Fortunately, this blog post from almost three years (with multiple non-functioning links to DataQuick) is still available and it is dutifully excerpted below:
Regarding Southern California, DataQuick President Marshall Prentice seems particularly intent on shaping public opinion about what the future holds:
"The big question is still whether or not the real estate market will end this cycle with a crash, or with a soft landing. Right now the latter scenario is still the most likely. Home values have doubled in the past four years and almost all, if not all, of those gains are here to stay," said Marshall Prentice, DataQuick president.
So, that second sentence is passable as sound analysis of the current situation - no evidence of anything crashing yet. But that third sentence is really very prescient, no? Divine omniscience? Didn't know that you had that in you Marshall - how else to explain stating as fact that an early 1990s style pull back in price levels is out of the question?
As it turns out, it wasn't very prescient.

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Anonymous said...

“The mortgage market turbulence is putting quite a bit of activity on hold,” said DataQuick President John Walsh, who replaced retiring president Marshall Prentice last week.

Tim said...

Thanks - don't know where you found that but it's good to know.

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