'American Morning' Offers Another Gloomy Housing Forecast

     Pitting one expert prediction against another “American Morning” took the side of more housing market woes on June 26.


     CNN’s personal finance correspondent Gerri Willis reported housing market predictions from both the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and from Moody’s Economy.com, but left viewers without a silver lining.


     “I got to tell you John [Roberts, “American Morning” co-host], this is not good news for people who are out there trying to sell their house and this of course is supposed to be the biggest time of year for sales,” said Willis to open her report.


     Willis based her report on data from NAR that the market is “underperforming” with median home prices 2.1 percent lower than a year ago and sales still slipping. But Willis still criticized NAR for being too “upbeat” and “optimistic.” Instead, she called a more negative view respected.


     “Countrywide – I talked to the folks at the NAR who put out these numbers to begin with. They believe sales volumes will start trending up in the third quarter, but they are among the most optimistic. I talked to the folks at Economy.com, some of the most respected economists out there who watch these markets. They say you will have to wait until 2009 to see a real recovery,” said Willis.


     The Economy.com prediction was in line with previous remarks from the group. Back in November 2006, Mark Zandi of Economy.com drew comparisons to the Great Depression and the housing market.


     Willis completely ignored how lower prices have the upside of benefiting buyers, though an NAR press release made that point:


     “The good news is buyers have more negotiating power with a fairly large supply of homes available in much of the country,” explained NAR President Pat V. Combs. “Buyers who’ve been on the sidelines may want to take a closer look at current conditions in their area – if they wait for sales to rise, their choices and negotiating position won’t be as good as they are now.”


     According to CNN, Americans who refuse to agree with the media’s dismal reporting on housing are “Out of touch with realty reality.” That story said that most Americans have an optimistic view of the housing market despite media reporting, according to a recent poll.


     “A majority - 52 percent - said the current housing slump would end within two years,” according to the CNNmoney.com report written by Les Christie. “There, they seem to agree with housing industry insiders such as Lawrence Yun, economist with the National Association of Realtors and Doug Duncan of the Mortgage Bankers Association.”

    The mainstream media has repeatedly forecasted doom in the housing market since it began an upswing in 2001 and has continued to do so throughout this latest downturn.