The Housing Chronicles Blog: NAR revises home sales estimates for 2007 through 2010

Thursday, December 22, 2011

NAR revises home sales estimates for 2007 through 2010

As if the National Association of Realtors didn't need another question about its data collecting competence, it has recently admitted that it has seriously undercounted home sales for 2007 through 2010, which means the housing downturn was even worse than expected. From a story in the L.A. Times:

The National Assn. of Realtors has revised sharply downward the number of homes it calculated were sold from 2007 to 2010, revealing a much weaker housing market than it had estimated.

For 2010 alone, the trade group revised its estimate of home sales 14.6% lower than what it had previously reported — to about 4.2 million homes.Overall, sales and inventory reported by the group were reduced by 14.3% for 2007 through 2010, the association said Wednesday. The group gave several reasons for the revisions, including some sales that had been counted multiple times. Roughly half the revisions, the group said, resulted from a decrease in people selling their own homes; these people turned to real estate agents to sell those properties for them as the housing market turned bleak in 2007.

Homes sold by owners are typically not counted by the local listing services tracked by the national real estate group, Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the group, said in a statement...

The revisions underscored a lack of data on the housing market. There is no government tally of home sales nationally. Instead, officials rely on private real estate groups to provide sales numbers. The government does publish an estimate of new-home sales and starts...

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