According to CoreLogic the number of homes sold as reported by the National Association of Realtors could be off by 20% over the past 5 years.
Heads should roll, but they probably will not over this.
The National Association of Realtors said a benchmarking exercise had revealed that some properties were listed more than once, and in some instances, new home sales were also captured.
“All the sales and inventory data that have been reported since January 2007 are being downwardly revised. Sales were weaker than people thought,” NAR spokesman Walter Malony told Reuters.
“We’re capturing some new home data that should have been filtered out and we also discovered that some properties were being listed in more than one list.” via Reuters
My biggest problem with this is that it is the fox watching the hen house. You have an advocacy group reporting declining numbers that affects their dues paying members. It was in the best interest of the NAR to be “off” a little bit each month to make the numbers look better.
Just as the Labor Department reports the unemployment numbers each week and then quietly revises them upwards after the news cycle is over, so it seems that the NAR is doing the same with the housing numbers.
And what a surprise, they are reporting this during the Christmas lull so it can be old news when the selling season starts.