Who Are You Supposed to Believe?

At the National Association of Realtors annual meeting in San Diego last week, NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun stated real estate prices would climb approximately 4% and homes sales increase by 15% in 2010.  Realtors applauded and celebrations broke out all across the convention hall.

Yet on the other side of the country, Jay Brinkmann the chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) stated “despite the recession ending in mid-summer, the decline in mortgage performance continues. Job losses continue to increase and drive up delinquencies and foreclosures because mortgages are paid with paychecks.”

Apparently these two chief economists are not looking at the same set of numbers. The latest unemployment numbers clearly show that the bumpy ride isn’t over for American wage earners and if you don’t have a job you aren’t buying a home.  Somehow it seems optimistic maybe even unrealistic to think that we will see an increase of 15% in home sales under these conditions.

Does this mean that you shouldn’t buy a home in Northern Virginia?   No it means that you have to decide if home ownership is right for you.  If you are qualified to buy and you are looking forward to owning your own home then go for it.  If you have doubts about your job then it might be better to wait a while longer.  Remember statistics no matter which chief economists you listen to don’t pay the mortgage, you do.

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