Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Lawrence Yun Promoted to Chief Economist

Lawrence Yun was promoted to chief economist (aka spinner) for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In a press release from NAR:

The National Association of Realtors® today named Lawrence Yun chief economist and senior vice president of research. Yun has served at NAR since 2000, most recently as vice president and senior economist.

“Lawrence is a talented economist and an outstanding forecaster who has contributed greatly to NAR’s growth and prestige as the leading advocate for the housing industry,” said Dale Stinton, NAR executive vice president and chief executive officer. “We are proud to have a man of Lawrence’s integrity and honor.

“He is a no-nonsense and level-headed analyst of the housing market who calls the data as he sees it, and has guided NAR with skill as chief spokesman for the past several months in a competitive real estate market. We have great faith and trust that Lawrence’s tenure will be a stellar one that will enhance NAR’s reputation as the most reliable and credible source of real estate research.”

Mr. Yun is not an 'outstanding forecaster;' his forecasts have been way off the mark. In September 2005 he predicted "The chance of a housing price decline in the DC area is close to zero, in my view. I anticipate that prices in DC will outpace the national average price growth. DC prices will rise at close to a 7 to 10 % rate of appreciation. " As we know priced have declined in the DC area since Yun's wrong prediction.

Do not trust Mr. Lawrence 'paid spinner' Yun. The general public and media need to be aware of his spins, predictions that have proven wrong, and his contradictory statements. Mr Yun is a paid shill who has lost his credibility.


Joseph said...

Great blog. Lawrence Yun is from the same mold as David Lerach. NAR seems to find the silver lining each month regardless of how disapointing the data are. what a joke.

Anonymous said...

I totally agreed the opinion in here. Mr. Yun is a lier!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Realtor with my Broker's license in the greater Tampa, FL area. Here is a copy of an e-mail I sent to the Florida Assn. of Realtors' website after reading an online article summarizing Yun's latest speech in Las Vegas. The guy makes me crazy.

Open letter:

I know Andrew Yun is supposed to be the NAR Pollyannaish "chief economist" who is only going to keep his job if he continues to evaluate the current real estate market through rose-colored glasses but I think he may have sunk to an all time low if he has been quoted correctly regarding his remarks at the NAR Conference and Expo this week. I thought Yun's predecessor, David Lereah, was delusional and overly optimistic with his market predictions but he may have to take a back seat to Mr. Yun if he continues on this course.

“Some markets are still going strong, such as Austin and Raleigh, while others are showing early signs of recovery, like Denver and Boston. However, a vast portion of the nation’s mid-section is underpriced in relation to income, and prices in some markets could rise notably with good local job gains." I guess this last sentence is technically not a lie but ask the people in Ohio and Michigan what the likelihood of this happening would be.

“Contrary to perceptions, conventional mortgages are widely available at favorable interest rates for the bulk of home buyers,” Yun said. “The pricing and availability of jumbo mortgages has improved, and FHA loans for home purchases – up 58 percent in the third quarter – are replacing subprime mortgages to serve the needs of low- and moderate-income buyers.” Again - maybe not untrue - PERCEPTION is reality. Also, even though FHA loans may be up significantly, to infer that they are replacing the plethora of subprime mortgages that were driving the 2004-5 insanity is patently wrong! FHA loans remain miniscule by comparison to conventional loans.

And my personal favorite - He said a $10,000 down payment on a median-priced home, at a typical appreciation rate of 5 percent, would be worth $110,000 after 10 years. That same amount invested in the stock market for the same amount of time, assuming 10 percent annual appreciation, would be worth $23,600. “That’s why housing is the best long-term investment most families ever make – the longer you own, the better your investment,” Yun said. I understand the concept of "leverage" but it doesn't work the way he has described it. He is way off base if he is saying that a person who plunks down $10,000 on a house can expect that up-front money to result in an eleven-fold increase in ten years based on "typical appreciation rate of 5 percent". Timing is everything in real estate as it is in many other areas and there have been periods of flat appreciation that have lasted for several years. Is he certain that we're not in one of these periods now?

I'm all for being positive and upbeat but ... I believe Yun is doing a disservice to not only the real estate industry but to buyers and sellers throughout the country. The current market is horrible, especially in Florida and other states that benefited from the huge boom a few years ago. There are many causes for our - current situation, from the sub-prime fiasco, to greedy investors, to buyers who chose to ignore the possibility that their house wasn't going to go up 30% in a couple years and they'd have to pay a much higher interest rate AND principal.

Add to that the insurance nightmare, huge property tax increases, lack of portability of homestead exemptions, over-inflated selling prices - even in today's down market, inventory levels that are five times higher than they were a couple years ago while sales are off 60%. And ... in my opinion, the number one reason people aren't buying - they don't feel we're at the bottom price-wise so they will not buy a depreciating asset until that feeling goes away.

Mr. Yun - tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - don't try to put a positive spin on every statistic.

Anonymous said...