Realtors' Lawrence Yun walks on the yunny side of the street

Credit where credit is due: Nobody has a sunnier disposition when it comes to the U.S. housing market than Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.

Today, Yun had the unenviable job of breaking the news that prices of existing homes fell 6% last year (by the Realtors’ calculations), which was the first full year decline since the organization began recordkeeping in 1968. It may have been the first full-year decline in nominal prices (that is, before adjusting for inflation) since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Home sales fell 22% in December from a year earlier.

But the always sunny Dr. Yun, like his determinedly buoyant predecessor David Lereah, found a favorable light to shed on the awful news. Note, he said, that total home sales in 2007 were still the fifth-highest on record. Affordability has improved with prices lower. And, he said, “we could get a quick boost to the market if loan limits are raised in combination with the bold cut in the fed funds rate.”

For more on Lawrence Yun, check out this snarky website.

Now, cue Louis Armstrong …

Grab your coat and get your hat Leave your worries on the doorstep Life can be so sweet On the sunny side of the street

Cant you hear the pitter-pat And that happy tune is your step Life can be complete On the sunny side of the street

I used to walk in the shade with my blues on parade But Im not afraid…this rover? s crossed over

If I never had a cent Id be rich as rockefeller Gold dust at my feet On the sunny side of the street

(instrumental break)

I used to walk in the shade with them blues on parade Now Im not afraid… this rover has crossed over

Now if I never made one cent I? ll still be rich as rockefeller There will be goldust at my feet On the sunny On the sunny, sunny side of the street