Updated March 29 at 12:28am
real estate

U.S. existing homes sold since 2007 revised down by 14%


WASHINGTON - The number of existing homes sold in the U.S. was revised down by an average 14 percent since 2007, the National Association of Realtors reported Dec. 21, magnifying the depth of the slump that contributed to the last recession.

Purchases were revised down to 4.19 million for 2010, down 15 percent from a prior estimate of 4.91 million, the real estate agents’ group said in Washington. There was a comparable downward revision to inventory, and median prices were little changed from prior estimates.

Sales climbed 4 percent in November to a 4.42 million annual pace, from a revised 4.25 million rate the prior month that reflected the benchmark revisions.

“Since 2007, things began to diverge” with other housing data, Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist, said in a news conference Dec. 21 as the figures were released. “Nothing in the local markets changed, it was an aggregation problem.”

Purchases for 2007 were revised down by 11 percent, and by 16 percent in 2008 and 16 percent in 2009.

“Even before the revisions things were bad, now they are even worse,” Yun said.


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Wait till numbers are revised on a state by state level. It gets worse.


Sales in the Northeast were revised down by a TON more than any other region, while sales in the West were revised down by a TON less! That seems “sorta weird,” IF the reasons for the revisions were as the NAR suggested. The modest revisions in the West were especially surprising, given that property records data in California – which are comprehensive and of good quality – suggested that the NAR’s estimate of California existing home sales in, say, 2008 was off by more than 20%!

To be sure, there was evidence of NAR sales “over-estimates” in one major Northeast state – Massachusetts – with the “overstatements” date back to at least 2000.

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