Perhaps proving that the USA Today isn't really so much a newspaper as it is light reading for those whose delicate minds can't process actual news -- we dare you to find a story anywhere in the paper longer than 1,000 words -- the chart-toting daily named National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun to its list of top 10 most accurate forecasters. We're still trying to process what sort of 'accuracy' USA Today used as its benchmark, as Yun has been fisked repeatedly by market participants for his lack of it. A sample, via the admittedly a little-too-obssessive Lawrence Yun Watch blog:
In September 2005 Yun predicted "The chance of a housing price decline in the DC area is close to zero, in my view. I anticipate that prices in DC will outpace the national average price growth. DC prices will rise at close to a 7 to 10% rate of appreciation. " As we know prices have declined significantly in the DC area since Yun's wrong prediction. According to the S&P Case Shiller Index, since September 2005 DC area prices have fallen 8.4%.
The NAR was certainly crowing about the recognition, however, issuing a press release touting Yun's accuracy. We don't know what to say. Are we off base here, and is Yun really that accurate?