David F. Seiders had some pretty serious chops in the field of housing economics when he joined the staff of the National Association of Home Builders as its chief economist in 1984. By that time, he’d already served as chief policy analyst for housing finance with President Ronald Reagan’s Commission on Housing and worked as a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington. During the next 24 years, Seiders would become one of the nation’s most recognized authorities on housing’s role in the economy and the economy’s role in housing. On Nov. 17, he began his retirement.
Among the accomplishments that have given him the most satisfaction was the development of several housing market indexes. “They’ve proven to be pretty darned good leading indicators,” he says.
Q:?How would you like your tenure at the National Association of Home Builders to be remembered?
A: I think I’d like to be remembered for my ability to become a strong housing advocate and a key spokesperson for the housing industry while managing to maintain a high degree of credibility.
Q:?What needs to happen in today’s economy for the housing market to begin to rebound?
A: We need something to arrest the downward spiral in housing prices and more strenuous efforts to eliminate foreclosures. Hopefully, we’ll see some additional stimulus directed at housing. We are the core problem in the economy today.
Q:? What advice do you have for your successor, David Crowe?
A: Oh boy. Keep in very close touch with the field. Play it straight with the press.
Q:?If you had a dollar for every time someone asked you to predict when the housing market was going to bottom out, what would you buy with the money?
A: I’d have enough money accumulated during this particular housing contraction to buy almost any quality crystal ball. I think I may need one. It will help see me through the unprecedented problems we face today in the housing market and the financial system.