On the heels of last week's disappointing jobs report, which some economic analysts are interpreting as a possible sign that the housing slowdown is beginning to infect other sectors of the economy, comes a report today that the National Association of Realtors has once again downgraded its forecast for the housing market in 2007.
The National Association of Realtors is not the first place we look to for unbiased interpretation of real estate market trends, but on one thing we're reasonably confident: When the organization makes gloomy predictions, you can be darn sure that "the bottom" is still a long, long way away. Which means that if the larger economy is beginning to slow as a result of what's already happened, then worse is to come.
As a side note, this is the first NAR press release in quite some time that did not quote the always sunny David Lereah, who has since moved on to a new job. Instead, we get a couple of blurbs from NAR senior economist Lawrence Yun, who says, "If it werenb
We'll see if Yun is any more accurate in his predictions than Lereah was. So far, not so good. Last August, he told Gwen Ifill on "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" that the slowdown "will be a short-term cooling. In our projection, we see that, as the mortgage rate begins to stabilize and we have this continuing job creation, we will likely begin to see an upturn in the housing possibly by, say, spring of 2007, so it will be a steady rise."