Commentary: What a Week It’s Been

Happy New Year! It’s been a busy week, and not just in mortgage/real estate news. Probably the largest news of the week broke late Friday, which means you’ll likely be reading about it on other mortgage media and other major outlets on Tuesday — Fannie Mae’s overhaul of its servicing requirements is very big news for anyone working in or near the mortgage business. Fannie’s made quite a habit lately out of dropping bombshells that don’t exactly fit the traditional media’s work schedule, and this story will probably prove to be no exception to this rule. Somebody get this guy a speechwriter

The NAR’s David Lereah did his part to divert press coverage from anything other than the release of existing home sales numbers this past week, commenting that “it looks like we may have reached the low point for the current cycle in September.” Those were the words that echoed throughout the majority of press coverage and blogger rants this week, with many taking turns going after Lereah as either extremely prescient or a complete idiot. Which of the two it will be is something future numbers will need bear out, but something tells me he’d have been better off leaving off the timeframe. After all, most good economists prognosticate in much the same way a fortune cookie tells the future: vaguely. You will find success in your future. Open a door, and it will no longer be closed to you. You will meet a new and interesting person in the days ahead. Couldn’t Lereah have just said something fortune-cookie-generic? It wouldn’t have been hard to do – he could have left off the “in September” that he tagged onto the back end of his remark. A social experiment all our own You’ve probably heard that HW is sponsoring what we think are the first set of real estate blogging awards, the REBAs. You’ve hopefully read about this year’s nominees, the voting process, and perhaps even have already voted. We’re getting a pretty amazing response so far from the real estate blogging community that has heard about the REBAs, which is wonderfully humbling. Thanks to everyone supporting the awards program. In combing the posts that are linking in to this site, we’re seeing all sorts of interesting discussions taking place from both those nominated as well as those who were not. I’m passionate about the free exchange of information, believe that traditional media has a lot to learn from emerging media sources, and love the dynamic nature of our mortgage markets. The REBAs are an extension of this, and I’m excited to see how the awards concept evolves over the next few weeks and into next year. Here’s wishing HW readers a healthy and successful 2007!

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