David Lereah steps down from the NAR.

David Lereah – the head economist for the National Association of Realtors in the US is stepping down to take a job with an online real estate service. So far his sunny outlook on the US housing market has failed to be reflected in reality with foreclosures up, inventory up and prices down in many many markets. He’s been accused of ‘cheerleading’ the US market and dubbed ‘David Liar-ah’ by bloggers who feel his reports have been biased and misleading.

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.

Lereah was the Realtors’ analyst through the five-year run-up in home values that ended in 2005, and he has continued to deliver the group’s outlook through the current downturn.

Here’s a link to the full article about the ‘anti-chicken-little’ lereah on CNN.

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"The point is that we are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield."Of course for RE, that battlefield is the marketplace.George Orwell, "In Front of Your Nose"


David Lereah speaks the truth. When asked late last year why so many people hate him, this is what he said:“Because I’m a shill. Look, they’re basically saying, ‘You’re the Realtors, you’re in it for the money, you have to say the market is going well.’ What are you going to do?”“When the market is good, we can say no wrong, and now the market’s down and they’re getting skeptical and they don’t believe it. To be quite candid, we all have really good housing models, and all we’re doing is putting the data in and generating the numbers. There’s nothing to hide. My members don’t get angry at me if I say sales are down 10% this year. I don’t get fired.”Right again David. You don't get fired; you are given an opportunity to resign.


"Dosh is saying the Lereah doesn't deserve to be vilified simply for being wrong."Impossible to prove, but he is beyond merely wrong. With mounting evidence to the contrary, he kept spinning out rosy forecasts.He called bottom 4 or 5 times. That happens. But each time he said it like it was the first time. As I quoted above, he maintained that "we'll continue to see above-normal home price appreciation for the foreseeable future." When that didn't happen, he had the nerve to post as if he expected the downturn, and others such as sellers got caught unawares.I vividly remember his 6% appreciation forecast last year, and shaking my head. When he later revised it down to 1%, he phrased it as if he had been right all along. "As we expected …" And that what makes him such an ass.The… Read more »


Drachen, I think you're the one missing the point of the discussion.Not EVERY thread has to turn into a bear vs. bull argument.Dosh is saying the Lereah doesn't deserve to be vilified simply for being wrong.You claim he's a liar. You may be right. But simply being wrong isn't evidence of being a liar, unless you are seriously claiming that every single person who's bought an asset that later depreciated must also be a liar.(btw, just for the hell of it, i sometimes pick up old financial books. I read one from 1979 that predicted gold "must" go to $3,000usd/oz. Another from 1998 predicted that Real estate would remain tepid for the next 20-30 years at least. Are they liars? No, they just realize $20,000 from a book deal is more reliable than their own predictions.)


Really now, who do you work for? You keep piping in with this chirpy rhetoric but I have yet to see anything from you that resembles an argument. All you seem capable of is pointing out the flaws in the occasional statement here and there without addressing the main issue or any of the serious bear arguments.

I don’t think that Victoria numbers are relevant. I suspect that because they have yet to hit the affordability wall as hard as we have here, the great number of older people involved in RE there and the size/economic difference between us and them Victoria markets will not react until Vancouver is in a steep decline and the crash becomes common knowledge.


dosh: although I don't think lereah is as innocent as you make him out to be, I do agree with you on one point: people are responsible for their own buying decisions. Anyone who gets swept up in an unrealistic mania only has themselves to blame.


OT Victoria numbers are in, and they are up. Sales up about 20% yoy (eyeball figure). Listings are up more than that yoy. Average price is up quite a bit mom, median less so.What does this bode for GV? I do know that unlike Victoria, sales are down. Flat prices?


I feel strongly enough this one to cut and paste my REtalks rant here as well. The links won't work, of course.————————————From the CNN article: Quote: Blanche Evans, the editor of Realty Times, an online magazine for real estate professionals, said Lereah's outlook for the market is a reflection of his sunny disposition. "That is part of his personality. He is one of the most bright and energetic people but that does not mean that he's a Pollyanna," said Evans, author of "Bubbles, Booms and Busts: Make Money in ANY Real Estate Market." Is the "sunny outlook" what led him to call naysayers Chicken Littles? Maybe he is just doing his cheerleading because his job calls for it. The MSM shouldn't give him the airtime without disclosing the conflict of interest. Are we dealing with a salesman or an "expert"?… Read more »


How could it be his fault if someone over-paid for a property? Don't people make their own decisions on what to buy and what they can afford?And I don't know how you could prove that he gave 'intentionally inaccurate forecasts'. No forecast is ever garaunteed.

mold city

agreed – the thing about lereah is that he referred to anyone that doubted the wisdom of eternal appreciation as 'chicken littles'. He's hardly refrained from name-calling himself despite his postion.He was trotted out as an expert, but with a paycheck coming from the NAR he never gave a balanced view on the issue. Not only has his recent forecasts been 100% wrong, they encouraged people to buy at the overpriced peak and now many are left with a depreciating asset they owe more on than its worth.


Hmm and if he intentionally gave inaccurate forecasts?

He’s called liar because he is a liar. The bear argument doesn’t need help, we can afford to waste words on making funny names for the pumpers, it’s the bulls that need an argument stronger than wet tissue paper and I have yet to see one. But please Dosh, go ahead, inform me.


Calling people liars or making fun of their names doesn't help your argument. As a realtor / economist he was just doing his job, just because his forecasts havent been 100% accurate lately is no reason for the tar and feathers.