Monday, April 30, 2007

David Lereah Leaving NAR, Blames Weather

(OK, I made-up that second part.) From Inman News:

David Lereah, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors trade group, is moving on from this position to assist a secretive project at Move Inc., a company that operates the NAR-affiliated property-search site.

Lereah, who critics have said tends to view the real estate market with rose-colored glasses, will join Move in mid-May to serve as an executive vice president and as chairman and partner with Allan Dalton in a "transformational" new business entity, Move announced today.
"David Lereah has established himself as the ultimate expert for the real estate industry," Dalton said in a statement. "Having David partner with me on this new venture will ensure that consumers and the industry will benefit from his unparalleled knowledge of financial issues and the real estate marketplace."
As the Realtor group's chief economist for the past seven years, Lereah has often been quoted in the media for his market forecasts and commentary. He has authored several books, including "The Rules for Growing Rich: Making Money in the New Information Economy" (2000); "Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust -- And How You Can Profit from It: How to Build Wealth in Today's Expanding Real Estate Market" (2006); and "All Real Estate is Local: What You Need to Know to Profit in Real Estate -- in a Buyer's and a Seller's Market" (2007).
Don't forget: "Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?: Why Home Values and Other Real Estate Investments Will Climb Through The End of The Decade—And How to Profit From Them" (2005).

"David is an expert on real estate and the economy, and his stature and expertise enhanced NAR's position as the most credible source on economic and policy issues affecting the housing industry in the United States and abroad," said Dale Stinton, NAR executive vice president and CEO, in a statement. "We wish him the greatest success in his new endeavor."
UPDATE - More news

From Reuters:
The economist who prodded investors into the U.S. housing boom and has been skewered by bloggers during the bust is leaving a top real estate trade association, the group said Monday. David Lereah, the author of 'Are You Missing the Real Estate Boom?', will leave the the National Association of Realtors' by the middle of next month after serving as the head economist for seven years, a spokesman said.
[O]thers excoriate the former bank regulator and economist with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. for maintaining a rosy outlook on the home market even while the demand for homes has evaporated.

One blog, David Lereah Watch, cites passages from Lereah's books and his encouraging words about the housing market and asks him to "admit he cheerleaded this destructive housing bubble."

In October, Lereah said that he expected "sales activity to pick up early next year." In recent months, Lereah has pushed his expectations for recovery deeper into 2007 and has trimmed his forecast for home sales for the year.
From The Motley Fool:
His ability to make bad predictions was, to my mind, only surpassed by the magnitude of his bombast, or perhaps his ill timing.

This is a guy who looked at dwindling numbers from the likes of Hovnanian Enterprises and KB Home, saw subprimes melt down at New Century Financial, watched Alt-A get worse for the likes of Indymac and Motley Fool Income Investor pick Washington Mutual, yet consistently told the press that all was well. I still have no idea how self-respecting business journalists anywhere could have parroted his biased misinformation for so long.
Blogosphere reaction:


Diggin Deeper said...

NAR finally got one problem out of the way. I wonder if they'll hire someone from the Dallas Cheerleaders as Lereah's replacement?

norcaljeff said...

So if RE is so profitable then why is he leaving? Figures, this is similar to the "pump and dump" scheme investors did in the stock market, only those guys got arrested. Unreal he's able to do this to people and not be accountable.

Patient Renter said...

"David Lereah has established himself as the ultimate expert for the real estate industry,"

Um, sure. Gotta wonder what the guy who hired/partnered with him was thinking.