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I saw a headline on a housing blog today out of Boston that reminded me of that campy quote from Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear?

It’s the campy scene where Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) and Capt. Ed Hocken (George Kennedy) enter an adult store where they encounter a rather attractive woman, Monique De Carlo (Gina Mastrogiacomo) wearing a low cut blouse.  After introducing themselves as cops from Police Squad, Ms. De Carlo asks, “Is this some kind of bust?” To which, Frank Drebin responds, “Well, it’s quite impressive. Yes…but we need to ask you a few questions.”

ImageIt’s one of the dumbest quotes in the movie, but when I saw a blog post I envisioned that scene played out by economists talking about the Housing Bust? Housing economist #1 to housing economist #2, “it’s quite impressive…and we should be asking a few questions, too.”

Well, that blog is here: http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/blogs/renow/2012/08/key_economist_n.html

In it, the discussion relates to the question: Is this bust over? Or is it yet another false dawn?  Mr. Shiller states he feels this is not quite the dawn yet, but may be the end of the darkest part of the night — meaning it may not get marginally worse given the current set of circumstances.

Quoting from the article:

“Predictions of a rebound in home prices are taking on a life of their own, far outstripping the actual evidence on the ground.

Just a few months ago, conventional thinking among economists and housing market watchers had pegged the real estate market as a perpetual loser.

Now everyone is scrambling to predict an imminent rebound in home prices.

That is everyone but Robert Shiller, co-founder of the vaunted Case-Shiller home price index.

The Yale economist was one of the first to call the housing bubble. Now he is reserving judgement [sic] on whether the latest housing rebound is for real.”

Essentially, it sounds like the feeling is that last of the shrapnel from the housing implosion is finally falling.  And now, the unemployment rate will determine if / when we recover.

So, while it has been an impressive bust, we’re still going to have to ask a few questions. We better get Lt. Frank Drebin on the case.