Monday, August 27, 2007

Meet the New Economist . . .

. . . same as the old economist. The National Association of Realtors recently replaced their in-house hack economist David Lereah. For a sample of his work, click here.

NAR's new economist is Lawrence Yun. Today NAR released some data which looks, to the untrained eye, kind of grim:

sales of existing homes dipped by 0.2 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.75 million units.

The median price of a home sold last month slid to $230,200, down by 0.6 percent from the median price a year ago. It marked the 12th consecutive month that home prices have declined, a record stretch.

Amidst all of this, the number of sales in the Northeast rose 1 percent over the the June level.

So here's Yun's analysis of the big picture:

"The rise in sales and prices in the Northeast region on a fairly consistent basis in recent months is promising because this was the first region that underwent sales and price weakness after the boom. Now, it appears that it will be the first region to climb back, indicating that other regions could follow a similar path."

What I don't get is why the media generally treats "economists" such as Lereah and Yun as though they're respectable academics. Aren't these guys more like the "scientists" working for Big Tobacco in the '80s and '90s?

No comments: