Five years of home sales revised lower, National Association of Realtors, Far fewer homes sold over last 5 years, MLS data
From the Chicago Tribune December 14, 2011.
“Five years of home sales to be revised lower in ‘meaningful’ way”
“If you thought the U.S. housing market couldn’t get much worse, think again.
Far fewer homes have been sold over the past five years than previously estimated, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.
NAR said it plans to downwardly revise sales of previously-owned homes going back to 2007 during the release of its next existing home sales report on Dec. 21.
NAR’s existing home sales numbers, released monthly, are a closely followed gauge of the health of the housing market.
While NAR hasn’t revealed exactly how big the revision to home sales will be, the agency’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said the decrease will be “meaningful.“
“For the real estate business, this means the housing market’s downturn was deeper than what was initially thought,“ Yun said.
Yun said the database NAR uses to track existing home sales, the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), has led the real estate agency to over-count existing home sales for several reasons.
The MLS database only includes home sales listed by realtors, and excludes homes listed by owners, providing a very narrow view of the market. And because more people are using realtors to list their homes instead of selling them independently, realtor-listed sales numbers have become artificially inflated, said Yun.
In addition, some of the assumptions NAR used in calculating its data have become outdated, since they were based on 2000 Census data.”