SANDESTIN, FL. - National Association of Realtors (NAR) Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun, PhD., called the tightening credit market and pessimistic buyer psychology as the two key factors in the nation's current housing slowdown. Yun made that assessment and offered further analysis and expert insight during his Keynote Speaker address at the Crye-Leike, REALTORS 2008 National Conference and Expo. The annual meeting is taking place at the Hilton Sandestin Hotel and Conference Center, Tuesday, October 14 through Thursday, October 16, 2008.


"I see tighter credit availability and buyer psychology as the two key ingredients holding people back from buying homes today," said Dr. Lawrence Yun. "I believe the confidence of buyers has been shaken by the current crisis on Wall Street and the ongoing housing slowdown. It has resulted in many buyers remaining on the sidelines in Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi and across the southern U.S. region served by Crye-Leike, REALTORS."


Speaking to more than 400 Crye-Leike Real Estate Sales Associates, Yun says the nation is in an economic recession, which he believes will continue for the next three quarters. However, he does not think the current climate will translate into a further downturn in home sales and values. In fact Yun presented indicators that would suggest the country is on the cusp of a housing recovery.


"While the economy will be sluggish for the next three quarters, we can already see recovery out west in California, Nevada and Arizona and we're also starting to see an increase in home buying in South Florida," said Yun. "At the present time I do not see prices leveling-off or sales increasing in the Tennessee, Georgia, Mississippi, Arkansas and other markets in the south served by Crye-Leike, REALTORS."


Yun believes the southern U.S. will eventually see a leveling off of prices and an increase in home sales as buyer confidence is restored by further action by the government to help restore stability to the credit markets. Even though the recent Housing Stimulus Package approved by congress has been encouraging, Yun believes the re-payment feature associated with the $7,500 First time Homebuyer Tax Credit doesn't go far enough to spur more buying.


"Myself and the NAR leadership are strongly encouraging the U.S. Congress and the President to support the homebuyer tax credit with no repayment, said Yun. "In its present form, a first time buyer must repay the tax credit over a 15-year period. While in its current form it is a tremendous benefit, I believe if the repayment feature was removed many more first time buyers would jump into the market. "Our hope is that the next President and new Congress will address this."


Yun called on Realtors to do a better job of explaining the benefits of the tax credit, even with the repayment feature in place, to help overcome the negative buyer psychology.


As the Managing Director of Quantitative Research for the NAR Dr. Yun writes regular columns on real estate market trends, creates NAR's forecasts, and participates in many economic forecasting panels including Blue Chip and the Harvard University Industrial Economist Council. He is frequently quoted on the real estate market and the economy in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post and has appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg TV. Dr. Yun received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.


Crye-Leike's annual National Conference & EXPO is a weeklong professional development retreat for agents and company executives featuring top national speakers and a Vendor EXPO spotlighting some of the latest in technology, marketing trends, training tools and services available to today's Realtor.


Harold Crye and Dick Leike established Crye-Leike, REALTORS in 1977. Today, Crye-Leike?, the nations 4th largest real estate company, has a network of more than 4,100 sales associates and 132 corporate and franchise offices located in 65 counties through-out the eight-state southern region of Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and North Carolina.


Crye-Leike is a full-service real estate company offering buyers and sellers services in the following areas of specialty: residential sales, mortgage lending, title, insurance, commercial business and investments, property management, development and construction, builder resources, REO bank-owned properties, relocation, auctions, and home services referrals. In 2007, the Crye-Leike organization attained sales of $5.7 billion with 32,500 closed transaction sides.