Okay, since this subject has been brought up in nearly every open thread over the past two weeks, I’m going to post about it here so we can just get it out of our system. Big freaking surprise: Realtors Lower 2007-2010 Home-Sales Estimates by 14%
U.S. home sales from 2007 through 2010 were about 14% lower than first reported, a real estate trade group said Wednesday, a sharp revision showing the housing bust was far worse than initially thought.
The National Association of Realtors revised downward its sales figures since 2007, using annual Census survey data to recalculate how many homes were sold.
The Realtors’ new figures also show 2008 was the worst year for home sales during the housing bust, with only 4.11 million sold, down 16% from the previous estimate of 4.91 million.
Home sales for the first 10 months of this year were also revised downward. October’s sales pace was lowered to a rate of about 4.25 million sales per year, from an original estimate, from an original level of 4.97 million.
Yun cited several reasons for the group’s sales revisions. The group’s reports were “not matching up with other housing-related data,” he said.
As you know, I regularly criticize the local multiple listing service for their lousy accounting methods that result in frequent blatant mis-statements of basic facts. Now multiply these types of issues times a few hundred MLSes across the whole country. Then realize that many MLSes geographically overlap each other, so a single sale gets reported in two or three different MLSes.
The NAR combines all of this crappy, sometimes redundant MLS data and then builds an estimate on top of it.
So you can perhaps understand why all of these stories about the NAR overstating sales have not come as any sort of surprise to me.
Of course, even the revelations that have come out of the NAR so far may not be the full story of just how crappy their data is. Calculated Risk reports: Lawler: The NAR "benchmark revision story" is not over!
In closing, enjoy this vintage 2007 NAR propaganda piece.