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SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

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Decisions, decisions: What is going on here?

by Dr David Rees

Real estate market cycles have multiple causes and diverse outcomes. But a stubborn postscript to most downturns is retrospective claims by analysts to have accurately predicted them. The evidence seldom supports these assertions. As I noted last year in an article for Institutional Real Estate Asia Pacific (“Making forecasts”, October 2019), International Monetary Fund analysis suggests economic forecasters predicted only five out of 153 recessions (1992–2014). Real estate cycles are no easier to forecast than the macroeconomy.

But here is a rock-solid claim to predictive accuracy (if not outright clairvoyance):“ … we must expect to be hit by an epidemic of an infectious disease resulting from a virus that does not yet exist”.

Published with superb timing on March 5, 2020, only four days after the first COVID-19 deaths were recorded in the United States — but evidently written much earlier — this statement is from the book Radica

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