“Zillow-Pulsenomics What?!?”

I’ve certainly taken my share of potshots on these pages at housing predictions by so-called industry experts. 

See, “Housing Market Predictions 2013;” “Barrons:  ‘Home Prices Headed Up 7%“; “Predicting Home Prices in . . . 2022?!?”  

So, who do I find more credible?

Try Robert Shiller, professor of economics and finance at Yale — and either one-half or one-quarter of the eponymous S&P/Case-Shiller Housing Index, depending on how you’re counting.

“Don’t Stay Up Worrying”

Here’s what Mr. Shiller is saying now:

The bottom line for potential home buyers or sellers is probably this:  Don’t do anything dramatic or difficult. There is too much uncertainty to justify any aggressive speculative moves right now. If you have personal reasons for getting into or out of the housing market, go ahead. Otherwise, don’t stay up worrying about home prices any more than you do about stock prices.

I can’t offer any clearer picture, and I don’t see a solid basis for anyone else to do so, either.

–Robert Shiller, “A New Housing Boom?  Don’t Count on It“; The New York Times (1/26/2013)

Sounds about right to me . . .

Obscure Indices

Although I’m a (very) active Realtor with my pulse on the housing market, I have to confess that I’d never heard of two of the bellwethers mentioned in the above NYT article.

Those would be The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Index of traffic of prospective homebuyers; and the Zillow-Pulsenomics Home Price Expectations Survey.

Or, maybe it’s not just me who hasn’t heard of them.  🙂

P.S.:  In my experience, open house traffic — assuming that’s what is being measured — is highly anecdotal (vs. scientific).

That is, sheer numbers of prospective Buyers going through Sunday open houses means very little for sales the next 3-6 months.

Now, if someone had an index that measured traffic at specific Broker opens (held Tuesdays in the Twin Cities) . . . they’d be on to something (broker opens are when local Realtors check out new listings each week).  

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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