Housing bust to look worse with revised figures
Back in February, The Wall Street Journal wrote about problems that analysts had been raising with the National Association of Realtors' estimates of U.S. home sales, highlighting the possibility that the trade group would have to revise its figures downward. After many months of work, the trade group announced Monday that it plans to do just that—as The Wall Street Jounal reports. The Realtors group, which publishes the widely watched monthly report on sales of previously occupied homes, says it will release revisions to home sales for 2007 through 2010 and for the first 10 months of this year. The data is scheduled to be released on Dec. 21, along with the group's monthly report on home sales in November. Though sales and unsold inventory numbers will be revised downward, there will be little change to monthly percentage changes in sales volumes. NAR says its calculation of the number of months it would take to exhaust the supply of homes on the market and its estimates of median home prices will not be revised. Earlier this year, outside analysts called into question some of the assumptions behind the trade group's data. For example, CoreLogic Inc., an independent housing data firm, found a far smaller number of home sales by tracking property records through local courthouses. About 4.9 million previously occupied homes were sold last year, the lowest on record dating back to 1997. This year's sales have been running just above that pace. Read the full story here.
This week's poll question: Do you think monthly housing numbers from the National Association of Realtors paint an accurate picture of what's occurring in the housing industry?
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