Word is that it could be 2009 before the housing market rebounds.
That assessment by Countrywide Financial's CEO Angelo Mozilo might or might not pan out. But the National Association of Realtors thinks it knows why sales of existing homes continue to fall right now.
It's the media's fault.
"Home buyers have been getting mixed signals about the housing market, which is causing some of them to hesitate," said NAR Senior Economist Lawrence Yun. At least he also acknowledged that rising mortgage rates and tougher lending standards aren't helping his industry either.
But if the danged press would just quit telling us that home prices are falling and that unchecked residential appreciation is a thing of the past, folks might not be so deliberate when it comes to the biggest investment of their lives.
And, of course, the media had to go out there and tell folks about the danger of obtaining a mortgage product that puts them in debt up to their eyeballs and means it'll take many, many, many years to build up a decent amount of equity in the house.
If everybody had just kept their lips zipped, things would have been fine.
My only other question of Yun and his Realtor colleagues is, where's the "mixed" part? As far as I can tell, the messages have all been decidedly down, and true, as far as the housing market is concerned.