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Real Estate Connect – The Housing Debate: Bulls vs. Bears

January 12, 2008 by Lucas Lechuga

Bull - Miami Condo Market Bear - Miami Condo Market

I’m so glad that Brad Inman, of Inman News, posted the following video. This was hands down the most interesting discussion that I attended this past week.

The speakers on the stage were made up of the following:

  • Andrew Ross Sorkin – Assistant Editor, Business & Finance, Chief Mergers and Acquisitions Reporter of the New York Times
  • Dottie Herman – President & CEO of Prudential Douglas Elliman
  • Barry Ritholtz – Chief Market Strategist, Ritholtz Research & CEO; Director of Equity Researh, Fusion IQ
  • Noah Rosenblatt – Founder of Real Estate Sales Person, Citi-Habitats
  • Professor Nouriel Roubini – Co-founder & Chairman of RGE Monitor; Professor of Economics at New York University’s Stern School of Business

The most colorful speaker was by far Professor Nouriel Roubini. There were a few times where everyone in the room was saying to each other “I can’t believe he just said that”. He cracked me up because he was so matter-of-fact. That’s one person that I’d love to have a conversation with over lunch. Barry Ritholtz and Noah Rosenblatt were also very insightful.

I also love what Barry Ritholtz says about “anchoring”. Sellers need to detach themselves from anchoring and either delist their properties or be realistic in pricing their properties. What he has to say is so true. I’ve been saying this for months. The real estate market needs to hit the reset button.

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9 Comments on "Real Estate Connect – The Housing Debate: Bulls vs. Bears"

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Roubini is absolutely brilliant. Go back to his blog from the last two years: he accurately predicted the housing bust, as well as the credit meltdown — almost three years ago! He has predicted a recession (he’s a little less accurate on this — he predicted it would happen beginning 3Q 07), but overall he is a true contrarian’s contrarian. Keep up the good work, Lucas.

Lucas Lechuga
MiamiRealEstateKing, Dottie did have a few insightful comments. I think one thing that she touched upon, which I feel she didn’t elaborate enough on, is that prior to the 1980s people didn’t view their properties as an investment. This is the type of mindset that people need to get back into. A property is something that you can own and have the right to change the cosmetic look of the property as you see fit. It is not something that you should purchase in hopes to flip it for large profits within the next year. Pretty much all of the… Read more »
Thank you for sharing, Lucas. Awesome interview. I tend to side with Dottie only because I consider myself to be more of an optimist Bull (after all, I’m a Taurus). However, everyone has certainly hit the nail as far as where the market is and where is probably going. Certainly, 5-10 more years of this is foreseable based on all information shared. However, I feel Dottie also hinted that the most hurt are the short term type investors and homeowners who thought they would buy and flip, making thousands (some were probably counting on tens and even hundreds of thousands… Read more »
Some intelligent commentary there – especially from Roubini. Personally, I credit Robert Shiller for convincing me that the housing market would bust. I had a feeling that something wasn’t right starting around 2003. But things kept on going up and up, and I started to lose my doubts about the real estate boom going bust. I figured that things would simply level out for a while. In late-2005, after looking at Shiller’s historical price chart for real estate, I lost any doubt that real estate prices would fall until they came back in line with the historical average, as they… Read more »

ritholtz and roubini have also had excellent predictions within the financial markets – unfortunately, they are looked as ‘doom and gloom’ types and not realists – which is what they really are.

Here is Roubini’s outlook for 2008. It looks like ‘doom and gloom’ to me. He thinks only 1/10 of the problem has been written-off so far! Europe Will Be Hard Hit by the Recessionary Storm Now Sweeping the U.S. Nouriel Roubini | Jan 15, 2008 The United States has now effectively entered into a serious and painful recession. The debate is not anymore on whether the economy will experience a soft landing or a hard landing; it is rather on how hard the hard landing recession will be. The factors that make the recession inevitable include the nation’s worst-ever housing… Read more »

Good luck with timing the market.


A good movie for I think for some MB realtors to see as the 04-06 hyperbole still encourages the “attachment” that precludes the detachmnet required by some sellers to move MB condos in 08 & beond. Yes everyone is informed these days but realtors have to reallign how they look at comps that closed months before & represent less than 1.2 % of building inventory in some cases when the are advising on current listing levels.

Renter Tom

Anyone know if the annual conference with this Bull vs. Bear debate video that was held on 1/7/2009 has been posted yet? Don’t think Dottie attended it this year since she was not listed on the panel…..perhaps she did end up taking a gun to her head like she mentioned in the 2008 debate??? Would like to see a video of the debate.

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