Here’s a science skeptic’s prediction that I notice those who have enjoyed hammering me for my errant expectation of President Rodham haven’t seen fit to mention. In March, I put my intellect up against the foremost professional housing experts and their science:
According to the “scientific” forecast, housing prices were to stabilize in late 2007 and hold firm in 2008. Here’s the November 2007 forecast for 2008: “Existing-home prices are expected to decline 1.7 percent to a median of $218,200 for all of this year and hold essentially even in 2008 at $218,300. Wow, what precision! To a tenth of a percent! The February report comes out this week… let’s just say that instead of $218k, I’m expecting a decline that would project to $175k or less by the end of the year. But what do I know, I’m not an “expert” paying close attention to the “science” of the housing market, after all.
So, you’ll understand if this story caught my eye yesterday. Nov 24, 2008: WASHINGTON (AP) – With nationwide sales of existing homes falling more than expected last month and the median sales price plunging to $183,000, the U.S. housing market keeps getting worse. With more bad news likely on the way, industry groups pressed President-elect Barack Obama to help stem the damage.
I can’t help but notice that 183 is a lot closer to 175 than 218. And I’m reasonably confident that home prices won’t be increasing in November and December.