David Lereah's New Video
David Lereah is the former Chief Economist and Senior VP of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Between 2001 and 2007, Mr. Lereah regularly made statements regarding the housing bubble. The media regulary turned to him for real estate quotes. He was very influential. Mr. Lereah tells half truths and manipulates facts and figures. He cannot be trusted as he was a paid shill.
David Lereah launches a new blog called Real Estate Economy Watch.
Maybe not… but it appears that Lereah has launched a new venture… let’s call it a blog… with both an ironic title and a decidedly more realistic un-spun outlook.
“Real Estate Economy Watch” is effectively a blog that hosts daily commentary on the housing market, tracks market data, and even specifically follows the course the “housing crisis”.
The title is ironic because it is reminiscent of “David Lereah Watch” a popular blog that relentlessly pounded Lereah during the heyday of the bubble crescendo.
The content, on the other hand, bears an unrecognizable skeptical edge
Peak House (HoweStreet.com)
Time Magazine Names David Lereah as Part of '25 People to Blame for the Financial Crisis.' The page on Lereah is here.
Nice. Well put. He definitely deserves blame for the current financial crisis. It would have been much better if the mainstream media had shined the light of scrutiny on David Lereah back during the height of the bubble when he was cheer leading the bubble and then later denying the bust.
When the chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, an industry trade group, tells you the housing market is going to keep on chugging forever, you listen with a grain of salt. But Lereah, who held the position through early 2007, did more than issue rosy forecasts. He regularly trumpeted the infallibility of housing as an investment in interviews, on TV and in his 2005 book, Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?. Lereah says he grew concerned about the direction of the market in 2006, but consider his January 2007 statement: "It appears we have established a bottom."
Ina recent article the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) builds upon a recent short interview with Money Magzine in which Lereah admits that 'I spun.' The WSJ article is titled Realtors' Former Top Economist Says Don't Blame the Messenger. Here are some juicy excerpts:
Once one of the world's most-visible housing experts, Mr. Lereah is disconnected from his old life. The former chief economist for the National Association of Realtors says the group's top executives won't return his phone calls. He says he wasn't invited to the association's 100th birthday bash last MayOne of my theories is that Lereah was forced to resign from the Realtors' group back in 2007 as he had become fully discredited by that point. [ Mr. Lereah denies this. ]
Mr. Lereah, 55 years old, is one of many prognosticators who won professional accolades during the housing boom, only to see their reputations wither in the bust. Throughout 2005, when home prices in the U.S. hit their fifth consecutive annual record, Mr. Lereah was on television so often his wife, Wendy, would catch him by accident. He flew first-class to meetings and speeches in places like Hawaii and Aspen, Colo., staying in suites at expensive resorts. His bosses awarded him more responsibility. That year, he published his second book, "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?"It gets juicier.
Mr. Lereah continued to make rosy statements amid growing signs of a housing downturn -- like this declaration in January 2007: "It appears we have established a bottom." A few months later, NAR announced that existing-home sales fell 2.6% in April from a month earlier and 10.7% from a year earlier.
Mr. Lereah, who says he left NAR voluntarily, says he was pressured by executives to issue optimistic forecasts -- then was left to shoulder the blame when things went sour. "I was there for seven years doing everything they wanted me to," he said, looking out his window to his tree-filled yard in this Washington suburb.He was the paid shill of the National Association Realtors. The truth comes out.
Mr. Lereah admits to one mistake: believing there would be no national housing crash. "I have to take the blame for that," he says. "I never thought it would be as bad as this."
Former NAR Economist David Lereah is a Jackass (Big Picture): "Of all the various parties who contributed to the boom and bust in housing and credit, none have escaped more unscathed than the National Association of Realtors, and their former Baghdad-Bob-in-Chief, David Lerea
David Lereah, currently working for Reecon Advisors Inc, now admits he "put a positive spin" on the housing market during the boom and bust times. Mr. Lereah goes on to take responsibility for his predictions while he was at the National Association of Realtors. This comes from a recent interview with Money Magazine article titled 'Former real estate bull admits, "I spun"'.
Q: Were you wrong to be so bullish?
A: I worked for an association promoting housing, and it was my job to represent their interests. If you look at my actual forecasts, the numbers were right inline with most forecasts. The difference was that I put a positive spin on it It was easy to do during boom times, harder when times weren’t good. I never thought the whole national real estate market would burst.
Q: Any regrets?
A: I would not have done anything different. But I was a public spokesman writing about housing having a good future. I was wrong. I have to take responsibility for that.
It is a positive that Mr. Lereah is taking partial responsibility for his actions while he was working at the NAR. It all begs the question is Lawrence Yun also engaging in 'positive spin?'
Additional Links:Realtor Chief Economist: “I spun” (NJ Real Estate Report)