Predicting the Housing Market

Vancouver Condo Info posted two housing market forecasts from Helmut Pastrick, one from March 17th, 2008 and one from August 20th, 2008. They are remarkably different.

The first one from the CBC goes like this:

housing prices will continue to rise by as much as 10 per cent this year and as much as seven per cent in 2009

And the second one from the Globe & Mail goes like this:

housing prices, down marginally from their peaks early this year, are likely to drop by 10 per cent before the market rebounds, he said.

It’s amazing to me how Helmust Pastrick, Chief Economist of the Credit Union Central of British Columbia, can make such an awful prediction when so many non-experts saw this crash coming. It is impossible to know when the market was going to peak and start falling but it had to happen eventually. Armed with the knowledge that it had to happen eventually, how could Helmut predict a 10% rise in 2008 and 7% in 2009 knowing that at any time the market could crash? The only alternatives are that either he knew the market was going to crash soon but chose to ignore it or that he was truly convinced that the market was going to continue rising just like it has for the past 6 years. The whole reason why there were so many non-experts who didn’t see this crash coming is a) because of idiots like Helmut Pastrick who feed their garbage predictions to the media and b) the idiots in the media who quote the idiot experts and their predictions without questioning them.

Over at Vancouver Condo Info, one commenter said “That’s a whopping 20% difference. I am sure reporters will ask Mr. Pastrick the tough question: why the 20% change in forecast?” I’d like to see a reporter do this, however, it is not going to happen, or at least it won’t make it into print. If anyone does see anything like this, let me know.

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