Worth looking back on

As the housing crisis spins onward, we thought HW readers might enjoy a blast from the past — 2004, to be exact. That’s the year the now-defunct Homeownership Alliance put out a report titled “America’s Home Forecast: The Next Decade for Housing and Mortgage Finance.” The authors include none other than David Berson, David Lereah, Paul Merski, Frank Nothaft, and David Seiders; it’s certainly amusing now to think about the fact that the NAR and Fannie and Freddie were once much more closely aligned than they are today. But perhaps more amusing — and instructive — is to look at the predications that were made then for the 2004-2013 housing market. Two million homes needed each year just to keep up with forecasted demand. A homeownership rate that was expected to top 70 percent. Prices that would average 5 percent per year in appreciation, but could reach as high as 6 percent each year if “supply constraints” continued and builders didn’t build up inventory fast enough. With that sort of cheery backdrop, may we present to you the most optimistically incorrect housing forecast ever made.

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3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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