Recall our friend David Lereah, he of the big-time Realtors warning of a slowdown. Well, Lereah, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, is back to explain what he really meant via a SmartMoney.com interview. To wit:
Q: This week you said that we might be near a peak in the real-estate market. Should people be worried about the price of their homes?To sum up: be afraid, very afraid, but don't forget to tip your Realtor on the way out.
A: I've been saying that for two, three years now: That we're finally at a peak for home sales. And we continue to be wrong. We do think right now we may be at a peak, and that home sales should come down a bit as mortgage rates continue to rise.
Q: Do you think the real-estate market will still be able to provide a sound investment?
A: Real estate is still a great investment opportunity for households. Price appreciation will continue. It may not be at 20%. It may be at 10% to 15%, or may even go down to 5%. The returns are still going to be good, but not as great as they have been.
· The Pro Shop: Has Housing Peaked [SmartMoney.com]
· BubbleWatch: Housing Market Is Da Bomb [Curbed]