One of the nation's largest independent realtor conglomerates, Weichert, put out a press release today in an attempt to highlight what the company's president sees as the "ideal opportunity" to time the market and buy low. I don't usually follow much of what I consider to be the consumer side of the market, but I felt compelled to call attention to this:
Potential home buyers waiting for the perfect time to jump into the housing market should wait no longer, according to Weichert, Realtors, one of the nation's largest privately-held real estate companies. James M. Weichert, president and founder, says several economic factors make it a great time for buyers to get into the home of their dreams. "Much of the attention real estate is getting today continues to be based on comparisons to the past thanks to the record-breaking years we had earlier this decade. But if you take a more forward-thinking approach, you see real estate is set for an upswing based on indicators such as home supply, interest rates and employment," said Weichert. "Not only has it never been easier to find and afford that dream home than right now, but real estate remains one of the best long-term investments options."
I'm intrigued. We all know Weichert's motivation for pushing a release like this out the door, and we all know he's probably drinking some sort of Kool-Aid, although we also know that no amount of pleading with the public to buy now will serve to expand the credit pool that borrowers need to be able to buy a house. You have to think he knows that, and you have to think he knows he's going to look like a pretty big idiot if things do manage to get worse. Personally I don't put much credence in an agent's prediction, as they usually serve the market rather than make it. But Weichert's not the only one predicting sunnier days on the near horizon. Just take a look at BofA CEO Kenneth Lewis, who earlier this week said he sees the bottom ahead in the next month or two:
"The drag stops in the next few months,'' Lewis said in an interview yesterday in New York. "It's just about to be over. We're seeing the worst of it.''
I'm a bit more bearish on the mortgage market than either of these guys, but let's be honest here: wouldn't it be dumbfoundingly great if they were actually right?