Things are worse than we thought in the housing market. Yesterday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) revised its existing home sales, moving actual sales downward by 14.3% in the period from 2007 to 2010, after the group said its data diverged from actual market conditions.
NAR announced the revisions in its monthly existing-sales report. The bad news was balanced by the fact that November sales rose 4% from last month and 12.2% from a year ago. Jed Smith, the head of quantitative research at NAR, said in a conference call that numbers in reference to supply and demand in the market are unchanged.
While the revised numbers seem surprising, this is nothing new for NAR. The trade association adjusted its annual 2010 total home sales downward by 14.6% as well.
The reasons for the adjustment vary. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said about half of the revisions came from a decline in for-sale-by-owner transactions. NAR said those sales dropped from 16% of the market in 2000 to 9% in 2010.
Multiple listings, geographic population shifts and house flipping also contributed to the revisions, Yun said.
This is just a bit of depressing news for the holidays – but at least interest rates are at an all-time low!