Friday, June 29, 2007

Lawrence Yun Contradicts Himself

Paid Shills like David Lereah or his replacement, Lawrence Yun lose credibility based on their ever growing spins, distortions and contradictions. Recently, Mr. Yun said that

Even a relatively large price decline, such as the 12 percent drop we saw in Sarasota, Fla., cannot reasonably be called a correction when that market had a 150 percent price increase during the boom.

However, in a May 2007 powerpoint presentation (pdf), Mr. Yun himself used the term 'price correction'

The discredited Lawrence Yun has contradicted himself. The general public and media need to be aware of his spins, predictions that have proven wrong, and his contradicty statements. Mr Yun is a paid shill who has lost credibility.

Lawrence Yun just doesn't know when to shut up


Here's the latest from Yun
. Weigh this against the latest from Case Shiller.

Consumers are hearing a lot in the media about the correction in housing, and they’re understandably concerned about whether now is a good time to get into the housing market.

To a great extent, we can thank steady media coverage of the real estate market “correction” for unfounded consumer concerns.

If there’s a correction in markets today, it’s in home sales volume and housing starts, not in home prices.

Even a relatively large price decline, such as the 12 percent drop we saw in Sarasota, Fla., cannot reasonably be called a correction when that market had a 150 percent price increase during the boom.

Monday, June 25, 2007

First time home buyers plummet 70%. Yun actually points it out. Recession anyone? Housing crash everyone?

Big drop in new household formation in Yun's numbers today. And nice to see Yun being called "crafty". He he he.

Here's Diana Olick's report:

Existing home sales in May were essentially flat, down just 0.3% from April and down 10.3% from a year ago. Prices also continue to drop for the tenth straight month, down 2.1% and inventories continue to rise, now to an 8.9-month supply. A pretty bland housing report all in all, except for a strange new number slipped into the middle of the report by that crafty NAR Senior Economist, Lawrence Yun. This mention, to me at least, is the real nugget that the 94 talking heads we’ll see on TV today will inevitably miss.

Household Formation. What’s that? It’s first time homebuyers. Whether it’s young professionals, new families, or new investors, none of these people, well, a lot less than usual, are jumping into the market. Household formation is down 70% (!) in the first quarter of this year from last year. On an annualized basis, it’s less than 500,000, which Yun calls, “rare.” You only see that in a real economic recession.

And here's what Yun said:

Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, said the market softness is understandable. “I think psychological factors are currently the biggest drag on the housing market, in addition to a disruption from tighter credit for subprime borrowers,” he said. “Household formation has slowed dramatically since late 2006, implying that many people are doubling-up – they’re adding roommates or moving in with parents.

And here's a website people are using until the housing crash is over

Yun Blames Housing Woes on 'Psychological factors'

The NAR just released their May Existing Home Sales report which showed the US housing market was continuing to decline. Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist was ready to blame the buyers and was surprised by the 'underperforming market'. The spin continues:

NAR senior economist Lawrence Yun said, 'I think psychological factors are currently the biggest drag on the housing market.' While subprime problems are still a 'headwind,' he said.
Yun said buyers are simply waiting to step forward and make purchases. He's found that household formation has slowed dramatically since late 2006, something rarely seen outside of a recession.

"The market is underperforming when you consider positive fundamentals such as the strength of job creation, economic growth, favorable mortgage interest rates and flat home prices," Yun said

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Needed Lawrence Yun Article on Wikipedia

Wikipedia is lacking an article about Lawrence Yun. An article would be be useful in many ways, as it will inform people of who Lawrence Yun is, it will have a section with criticism of Mr. Yun, and will provide a link to the Lawrence Yun Watch.

Anybody want to create a Lawrence Yun article on Wikipedia? Are you itching to put up the criticisms section of the article?

A LawrenceYunWatch message to Lawrence Yun: Just shut up. Really. Just shut up.

Dude, when you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.

Just shut up.

Don't say another peep.

Every time you open your yap, you just make it worse.

So don't. Really.

Here's an example of spin, stupidity, lies, distortion and, well, just outright laughable idiocy from Mr. Yun, on current rising home prices (really, he said it):

"We continue to experience a temporary distortion in comparing median existing home prices’, said Yun. ‘Because the sales volume has shifted from many high cost areas to moderately priced markets, we’re not getting a true apples-to-apples comparison. When you look at other measures, such as this week’s price index from Freddie Mac which is based on repeat sales, overall home prices are rising slowly.


After encouraging flippers to game the system for years (so realtors could make their comissions), NOW the NAR and Lawrence Yun say no to flipping

I guess the NAR will send a letter to A&E to take down all their Flip This House type shows, I guess they'll apologize for TCDL's books, I guess they'll instruct their 1.2 million ramen eaters to not take flippers as clients, or to flip houses themselves, and I guess they'll apologize for their cheerleading these past few years which SHOUTED to anyone who would listen than housing was a slam dunk investment that would soar in value.

Or I guess not.

Here's TCLY, coming clean and trying to sound like a wise old sage, when knowing what we know now, he just sounds the fool. Especially to the millions of families who are losing their homes because of the NAR's bubble.

“Home buyers today are purchasing for the long term, generally with a realistic expectation of modest gains over time,” Yun says.

Housing first and foremost is shelter. Second, it’s a long-term investment that slowly builds the greatest amount of wealth for most families. It’s good that we’re getting beyond the tendency of some buyers to view housing as a temporary asset to accumulate short-term wealth, which is not to be expected in a normal market.”

Oh, the wise sage then added:

“If it weren’t for a favorable economic backdrop, housing would probably have a hard landing,” Yun says. “As it is, we see this as a soft landing with home sales rising gradually in the second half of the year and prices recovering a bit later.”

It's official - Lawrence Yun is a distorting, deceptive spinmeister, just like TCDL

It didn't take TCLY long to pick up for TCDL. You wonder if there's a training class for NAR "economists" - called "how to lie, deceive, distort and spin".

When's the book coming out Larry? Maybe "Housing Crash My Ass - Why Housing Prices Will Soar! - The Fundamentals Don't Matter" or something like that.

I could just imagine the scene of this realtor luncheon (brown bags - nice. Ramen noodles next time?). And there you have Larry Yun, tellin' 'em what they want to hear. Versus this little thing called 'the truth' that most of us would expect to hear from an 'economist'.

Folks, the NAR is a discredited joke of an institution, run by monkeys, and now represented by TCLY.

He's down on the mat, he's bloody, the fans are booing. But can the Tampa Bay area housing market rise from the arena as the Comeback Kid?

You can bet the house on it, said Lawrence Yun, senior economist at the National Association of Realtors.

Yun was appointed last month as the top economic spokesman for the Washington-based Realtors group. He succeeded economist David Lereah, discredited after maintaining rosy outlooks amid an increasingly troubled housing market and promoting his 2005 book, Are You Missing The Real Estate Boom - Why Home Values and Other Real Estate Investments Will Climb Through the End of the Decade.

In a slide show Thursday to the Greater Tampa Association of Realtors, Yun delivered a message of short-term pain leading to long-term gain.

"Five years from now you will be very happy you're in this business and located in Tampa," Yun said over a brown-bag lunch to about 75 real estate agents.

In Yun's view, rising incomes and declining home prices ought to have stimulated sales this year were it not for housing bubble scares in the media.

In one worst-case scenario, an economist suggested the gap between incomes and home prices would depress housing values 40 percent.

Yun scoffed at the idea: The real measure of affordability, he said citing a formula, is mortgage obligation relative to income. He clicked a slide showing Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater hovering at the national average. Much of California isn't so lucky, nor is high-priced Miami and Naples.

"It's very, very manageable. Nothing alarming in this region," Yun said.

Friday, June 15, 2007

OK folks, time for a little street theatre. We're gonna send ramen noodles to Lawrence Yun at the NAR

You know the little guys are hurting - with home sales cratering, and realtors (and the NAR) completely discredited and disintermediated, it's time for... The HousingPANIC "Realtors are People Too" Top Ramen Drive

Here's all you have to do:

Pick up a few packages of ramen at your local store, and send 'em off to:

Lawrence Yun
National Association of Realtors
430 N Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

Include a note "Keep up the great work Lawrence! Your lies and spin make us laugh every day! Love, your friends at HousingPANIC". Or just do your own thing. He'll get the point.

Post here if you've sent a package off, and I hope he finds a fair way to distribute the goodies to the 1.2 million hungry little guys. At least they'll get something for their NAR dues.

Lawrence Yun is bad with math

What a flaming idiot. In recent commentary for a NAR's online real estate journal, TCLY had this gem of wisdom:

The word “correction” is a misnomer applied all too frequently in a misleading way. What homeowners and homebuyers are monitoring is principally where home prices have been and where they are headed. Nationally, the median home price rose 1 percent last year – that on top of the 53 percent rise during the five-year boom from 2000 to 2005. This year, the national median price is expected to fall 1 percent.

By any standards, it is an extreme stretch to call it a correction when a particular asset price rises better than 50 percent and then retreats one percent. Even a relatively large price decline of 12 percent in Sarasota cannot reasonably be considered as a correction when its local market had a 150 percent price increase during the boom. Let’s see, that is 150 steps forward and 12 steps backwards.

Take a look closely at Mr. Lawrence Yun's comparison about steps. If someone is on a stairway and at step 100, then you have a 150% increase in the number of stairs climbed. That would take them to step 250. Then suddenly they fall 12%, which would take take them back to stair 220. Which would represent an increase of 120% (from the original 100 stairs).

According to Yun, they would take 150 steps forward and then 12 steps back which would put the on step 238 (250- 12). 238 does not equal 220. Mr. Yun comparison is deceiving and bad with math.

Or heck, more importantly, how about this simple math: Buy a home for $500,000, it falls 12% in value or $60,000. You're screwed.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Corrupt dot-com poster boy Henry Blodget compares housing crash rhetoric & predictions to dot-com crash. Is Yun the new Blodgett?

Man, if this ain't the pot calling the kettle black, but maybe he's found jesus. Henry Blodget, the dot-com guru you remember, who was publicly pumping internet stocks while privately calling them hunks of junk, and was eventually discredited and convicted of fraud, well, he's throwing Lawrence Yun and the discredited NAR to the wolves.

But I guess the guy knows what he's talking about - he WAS Lawrence Yun just a few years ago...

Henry Blodget - NAR: Don't Worry, Housing Prosperity Just Around Corner

I can't help but note the similarities between the dotcom-crash rhetoric/predictions back in 2000 and the housing-crash rhetoric/predictions in the last 12 months.

Those of you who had the misfortune to live through the dotcom crash will recall that I and other analysts correctly predicted that there would be a slowdown and shakeout, but drastically underestimated its severity and duration.

All the way down, we kept revising forecasts (read: cutting estimates) to previously inconceivable levels, and each time we cut them, we reiterated our expectation that the inevitable trough and upturn was about six months away.

It wasn't until two years after the shakeout began, when half of online advertising revenue had evaporated and more than 75% of the companies in the sector had keeled over that the downturn finally ended... And by that time, most of us were so demoralized that we'd stopped predicting that there would ever be an upturn.

Housing obviously won't experience as deep a correction as the dotcoms did, but I haven't heard a single persuasive argument explaining why this downturn won't look like every previous housing downturn: i.e., will last a lot longer and drop much farther than most people think -- until price/rent and price/income ratios return to or below their long-term trend.

Instead, all I hear are arguments like this one, which are based not on long-term historical trends, but on short-term bubble-year pricing and price trends (arguments I am very familiar with, having made similar ones in late 2000 and early 2001):

"Overall housing levels are historically strong, but sales remain sluggish compared to the recent boom," said Lawrence Yun, NAR senior economist, in a statement. "Home sales will probably fluctuate in a narrow range in the short run, but gradually trend upward with improving activity by the end of the year," Yun added. Existing home sales are projected to rise 3.7% in 2008, to 6.41 million, according to NAR's forecast.

Motley Fool throws Lawrence Yun under the bus

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.

Housing Schizophrenia

To all of the various problems affecting U.S. housing, we can now add a case of schizophrenia.

The most widely watched housing authorities -- the National Association of Homebuilders and the National Association of Realtors-- appear to be gazing into completely different crystal balls. On Tuesday, the folks in the Realtors' group, adorned in their most stylish rose-colored glasses, released a report stating that "the data shows a broad stabilization." As senior economist Lawrence Yun explained further, "... we see that the existing-home market is stabilizing in a broad cyclical trough and moving in the right direction, with a modest gain from the fourth quarter." Uh-huh.

But on the very same day, the builders' organization across town noted that "homebuilder confidence sank to a 15-year low in May as lenders made it more difficult for borrowers to qualify for mortgages and order cancellations mounted." As a result, its Housing Market index descended to a reading of 30, versus 33 in April. As the group said in releasing May's results,

"Readings below 50 mean more builders view market conditions as poor rather than favorable."
And as if these divergent opinions weren't enough, the U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that construction of new homes and apartments rose by 2.5% in April, but still remained nearly 26% below the year-ago level. At the same time, April permits were down 8.9%, clearly substantiating the NAHB group's sentiment.

Get out the crackpipe - Lawrence Yun wants you to take a hit

When wil these guys quit? For the love of god, when will these guys quit?

US market 'sluggish' but upturn expected

NAR expects es should experience ‘a gradual upturn’ later in the year, the National Association of Realtors has forecast..

‘Overall housing levels are historically strong, but sales remain sluggish compared to the recent boom’, NAR senior economist Lawrence Yun explained. ‘Home sales will probably fluctuate in a narrow range in the short run, but gradually trend upward with improving activity by the end of the year. It’s important to keep in mind that all real estate is local, and many markets are expected to have higher sales and strengthening prices during the second half of this year’.

From the Creators of DavidLereahWatch & HousingPANIC: You asked for it, you got it, it's LawrenceYunWatch!

He made us do it folks... He made us do it..

David (from bubblemeter and davidlereahwatch) and I are going to stay on top of Yun (TCLY), who is now the NAR's trained poodle, picking up right where TCDL left off.

Someone had to do it...

This tidbit is what should prove to everyone that the NAR is completely discredited, they're run by monkeys, and Lawrence Yun has sold his soul to the devil for a tiny bag of gold.

Lawrence - it's not too late. Resign, stop your evil deeds, repent, come clean, and move away from the Dark Side. People are laughing at you!

We continue to experience a temporary distortion in comparing median existing-home prices,” Yun said. “Because the sales volume has shifted from many high-cost areas to moderately priced markets, we’re not getting a true apples-to-apples comparison. When you look at other measures, such as this week’s price index from Freddie Mac which is based on repeat sales, overall home prices are rising slowly.”

Buyers today need to have a traditional view that housing as a long-term investment is an added benefit to their shelter expense. If so, that investment generally will build a nice nest egg over time, especially if they use a traditional mortgage instrument that reduces debt,” Yun said.