March 27, 2006

NAR book cookin? Did you know the corrupt and/or incompetent David Lereah is responsible for these numbers?

That February NAR report of +5.2% in sales sure looks suspect against the new home sales -10.5% number reported by the Commerce Department or the same month. So dig into the NAR number and methodology a bit more, HP'ers, and report back.

Why we would trust the NAR with ANYTHING at this point is beside me. Given all they have to lose, I don't think their reporting should be given much credence or attention.

Here's some verbiage from the NAR methodology page

The methodology in calculating existing-home sales statistics is really quite simple. The monthly EHS economic indicator is based on a representative sample of 160 Boards/MLSs. The home sales data (raw data) is divided into the four census regions: Northeast, South, Midwest and West. The raw sales volume from the participating Boards/MLSs is carefully evaluated by NAR economists to ensure accuracy. Some of the possible problems with the data could be caused by:

Changes in association/board/MLS physical jurisdiction
Changes in MLS vendors and /or staff
Lack of response by associations/boards
Erroneous data

Once the “problematic data” have been extricated from the sample, the aggregated raw volume figures are weighted to accurately represent sales activity for each region of the country. This is also called the non-seasonally-adjusted volume. The weights are benchmarked every 10 years to reflect shifts in regional demand (For more information on NAR’s weighting system refer to rebechmarking procedures at The non-seasonally adjusted volume is then converted into seasonally-adjusted annualized rates. (See section on Seasonal Adjustments)


Anonymous said...

I've been checking with the Mortgage Bankers Association and they show weekly double digit drops in the number of mortgage applications since last November and the drop has increased to 20% since February. So are we now to believe that people are buying houses with suitcases full of cash?

Rob Dawg said...

Rebenchmarking? Weeee don' neeed no stinkin' rebenchmarking. All I know is that in Feb 2006 we had a housing stock some 1.3 million more than a year ago. In Feb 2005 402,000 homes were reported sold by the NAR. In Feb 2006 the NAR reported 401,000 sold. The NAR called this a 5.2% increase. Benjamin Disrael was right.

Anonymous said...

Here is the root of the problem:

Why on earth would we want a system where both the buyer's broker and the seller's broker are incentivized to have the highest value possible on the sale?

WTF? Wall street got over this stupid version of a market and has moved to flat rates. Anyone else see handwriting on the wall?

Catherine Wilkinson said...

NAR is a TRADE organization...their mission statement flat out says:

"The core purpose of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® is to help its members become more profitable and successful."

They have no interst whatsoever in balanced reporting. They are not the Fed of the housing industry! Why Leahry is considered some sort of financial wizard with accountability to the population at large is simply astounding.
The NAR has every intent and interest in keeping this housing bubble inflating...for the benefit of their members.

Anonymous said...

WOULD you BUY a USED CAR from the People of NAR ?

Anonymous said...

Sign of the times on HWY 287 between Boulder, CO and Westminister, CO.


The dirty little secret is people cannot lower the prices on their houses because they owe to much against them...the prices are falling and they have zero cash to bring to the table.

Out at the peak said...

It has been rumored that month end sales have been double counted for the beginning of next month sales. They've even used this trick in newspaper sold listings where they reuse some sales from the prior week.

A third party audit needs to be done.