Last week, it wasn’t hard to discern my distaste for stories coming from Wall Street that discussed “recession fears.” To my mind, it was much like worrying about “gravity fears.” Go for denial if you choose, but gravity is in effect and we are in recessionary times.
For those of us in the real estate industry, the news is no surprise. Housing tends to lead the way down and up. So for us, the recession started months ago. And today, NAR’s oft lamented chief economist, Lawrence Yun, called what others still fear:
What does today’s data mean for REALTORS® and consumers?
- The economy is in a recession. Normal economic indicators are signaling that we may climb out of recession in few months. However, we are not in normal economic times.
Yun’s also calling for Congress to skip the tax cuts and make a move to help the housing sector, something other economists echo:
“There’s a sense that if we don’t do something about housing, we will end up throwing good money after bad,” says Christopher Mayer, senior vice dean and professor of real estate at the Business School.
What remains to be seen is what steps may be taken. I’m not a big fan of one of the ideas floated, to mark mortgages to current home values. Well, unless they’re prepared to do that for everyone and not just those who paid 30% above asking and waived the appraisal contingencies in the heat of the moment in 2005.
(h/t to @NARSocialMedia, who isn’t actually NAR’s new Social Media Manager.)