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Its Real Estate Groundhog Day And NAR Did Not See Its Shadow

The National Association of Realtors did not see its shadow and believes spring will come early this year. [Groundhog.org] [1]

There has been a tremdous amount coverage on the shift in gears of the real estate economy of late and I have read more articles on the housing market than I care to admit. Besides the Census Bureau, the NAR has been one of the primary sources of statistic and interpretation to the public on this market transition. While I can’t verify the stats they use, their description of the market has been generally accurate and largely absent of the grossly exagerated spin we would expect from a trade group with a built in bias. Of course there is plenty of spin, but hey, they are a trade group.

Here’s a typical article written from a NAR press release.

NAR Sees Soft Landing as Housing Bubble Transitions To Expansion [Mortgage News Daily] [2]

However, on a local level, I find that the word is often not getting to the brokers on the front line. Realtors are under no obligation to predict the market. They are only obligated to present as much accurate information as they can for their clients so the client can make the decision that is right for them. Quite often, the arguments for a “strong” market is based on the fact that the prior period saw record prices. First of all, that would mean that the market, by definition, would never fall. And by the way, what does “strong” mean? A lot of sales? Rising prices? Not as sharp of a price drop as was expected?

Here’s a few articles that are based on good old-fashioned hard selling:

*Realtors: No sign of price bubble here [Orlando Sentinel] [3]
*Bubble talk overblown, according to top Realtor [Contra Costa Times] [4]
*Home prices — and competition — strong [Seattle PI] [5]