Wikinvest Wire

Affirming the credibility of Baghdad Bob and crew

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

It's probably fair to say that, if you have to devote a full page to "affirming your credibility" in your new promotional campaign material, you've got a pretty serious credibility problem.

Such was the case with the recently released Surround Sound Campaign from the realtors' trade group the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

It's also probably fair to say that, when your former chief economist has a reference to Baghdad Bob in the opening paragraph of his entry on Wikipedia, you likely have an enormous credibility problem (the image of former NAR chief economist David Lereah in Baghdad Bob attire appears courtesy of the Marin Real Estate Bubble blog).

Apparently this image is still fresh in the minds of those who put the latest campaign material together:
There. Credibility affirmed.

Now onto the details of the new campaign which comes as potential home buyers have become increasingly skittish.


Amid sluggish home sales, soaring foreclosures, and a year-long credit crisis that shows no signs of letting up, buyers are understandably worried that home prices may tumble further. Most of them appear to be more than happy to sit and wait, unless perhaps they can get a sweet deal on a foreclosure, which still carries the distinct possibility of looking overpriced in a couple years.

The NAR has seen fit to assure potential buyers that they should fear not - that housing remains a "solid long-term investment".

From the "Talking Points" section of the promotional material come these items, apparently part of being "committed to giving buyers and sellers the facts about the market today and over the long term".

Current market conditions won’t last long. NAR research shows that prices are beginning to stabilize and price declines are near an end. A modest increase in property values is expected in 2009.

Some reports have turned consumers sour to the idea of buying a home. The truth of the matter is that now is an ideal time to buy—prices in most markets won’t go any lower and inventory is abundant.
Looking back at the NAR promotional campaign in November of 2006, while it may not have been an "ideal time" to buy then, in the minds of the NAR's promotions department, it was certainly a "great time" to buy a house.
In the almost two years since that last campaign, home prices have fallen precipitously in many parts of the country - a whopping 18 percent, according to the S&P Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index which, incidentally, the NAR's Surround Sound Campaign dismisses because it is too new, too narrow, not timely enough, improperly weighted, and poorly labeled with "flawed methodology" that produces "skewed results" in what is generally a "weak measurement tool" designed for hedge funds.

Seriously, they said all those things about the Case-Shiller Index.

A more detailed review of the NAR's predictions over the years can be found here:
The last item contains the image below from Investech Research that puts everything into proper perspective when it comes to credibility.
There. Lack of credibility restored.
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Anonymous said...

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David said...

David Lereah Watch

Lawrence Yun Watch

Anonymous said...

NEW YORK: Almost one in four home sellers in the United States who sold their property in the past year lost money on the deal, a new report from Zillow Inc. showed Tuesday, while foreclosures made up 15 percent of all sales.

Nationwide, nearly 24 percent of homes sold at a loss, the real-estate information company said in its second-quarter real estate market report. It also showed that in parts of California, more than three of five homes sold for a loss, and half of all sales were foreclosures.

Despite gloomy housing headlines and dismal data, homeowners nationwide remain oddly optimistic about the value of their homes, a separate Zillow survey found. Sixty-two percent think their home value increased or stayed the same in the past year and three-fourths expect their home value to increase or stay the same in the next six months.

By all measures, home prices have fallen nationally in the past year with the states that saw the biggest run-up in prices during the boom — California, Nevada, Florida and Arizona — now posting the sharpest declines.

Anonymous said...


After seeing this post on your blog, it reminded me of some propaganda I ran across the other day on a local real estate blog.

That blog had posted a newspaper article quoting several local RE agents saying, "We did bottom out," and "The market is close to the bottom if not at the bottom."

My favorite was this, where the RE agent really hedges their position:

“I don't think it's bottomed out. While it was an incredibly busy first half of the year, and everything will go if it's priced right, it's not a rebound. We're stabilized, though. I don't think we're going to go down anymore. But it's not a rebound.”

When they simultaneously take diametrically opposed positions, it brings into question either their ethics or their competence, or both.

The entire article looks like a David Lereah type practice session for the b.s. they hand out every day to their clients.

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