Lawrence Yun Came to CAAR

It’s always great to hear NAR’s chief economist talk. He’s in a tough spot – he’s a great economist. But he’s the Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors – the trade association for Realtors*. Part of his job is to be both an honest economist and to spin the research positively for Realtors. That said, he’s infinitely better than his predecessor. I’m inclined to follow up on our lunch from a couple years ago to see how, if at all, his perspective has changed. That said …

A few takeaways -

- Rents and renters are rising

- Interest rates are likely to rise this year – he says to 5.3%

- Home sales are up (nationally)

- Home prices nationally have risen 20% (way to fast/high in my opinion)

- Pending sales are down – troublingly so. (see Calculated Risk, Zero Hedge (sales “collapsed” & Big Picture, who uses the term “cratered” referencing pending sales)

(results from my running data)

For Charlottesville-Albemarle, contracts were down 11%:

226 – from 12/1/13-1/31/14 – number of homes went under contract in the Charlottesville MLS
254 – from 12/1/12-1/31/13

For Charlottesville MSA (Charlottesville, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson), contracts were down 7%:

366 – from 12/1/13-1/31/14 – number of homes went under contract in the Charlottesville MLS
393 – from 12/1/12-1/31/13 –


One of the most striking things I heard him say was this:


Some (many?) parts of the Charlottesville area market are doing better, but if you were about to have a day like I’m about to have, you’d know that there remains a lot of pain and suffering – financial, personal and psychological – in our market.

Click through to see the slides from Dr. Yun’s presentation.* Until consumers start paying dues as I do, I’m not inclined to believe that the Realtor Association is looking out for them. :)


Dr. Yun PPT Feb 2014

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  • Phil V

    I’ve heard that part of the Dec/Jan seasonally-adjusted decrease has been due to the unusually harsh weather this year — what do you think about that? If that’s the case, we should see a disproportionate rise in listing/sales in the spring.

    • http://www.realcentralva.com/ Jim Duncan

      I don’t think the harsh weather was the reason for the drop in contracts (of course, I was also showing property two days after the snowpocalypse a couple years ago :) )

      But you’re right … I’m hearing of quite a few houses coming on the market in the next two to four weeks.