What's the truth behind the latest housing numbers?

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Farmer Brown's picture
Farmer Brown
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2008
Posts: 1503
What's the truth behind the latest housing numbers?

 

The National Association of Realtors reported a 6.5% increase in the number of houses sold in December 2008 as compared to November of 2008.  It also reported a median home price of $175,400, which was 15.3% decline from a year ago. (http://www.cnbc.com/id/28854489)

The first number does not seem right to me.  It simply does not make sense for sales to be up when everything else is going down, and when real estate is what got us in trouble to begin with. 

I would like to know if these numbers include foreclosures or not.  I went to the NAR website and could not find a description of how they compile their numbers, so I wrote an email asking them to elaborate on whether they're included, and if not, how they manage to separate foreclosure-based title transfers from arms-length title transfers.

If they answer me, I'll post it here, but I was wondering if anybody out there might have further information on this.  

Farmer Brown's picture
Farmer Brown
Status: Martenson Brigade Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 23 2008
Posts: 1503
Re: What's the truth behind the latest housing numbers?

Below is the answer from the National Association of Realtors.  I guess this means my suspicion about foreclosure sales distorting the December figures was incorrect. 

 

 


Mr. Brown,

Our existing home sales data includes some foreclosures, not all
foreclosures. A property must be listed with a multiple listing service (MLS) by
a Realtor to be included in our inventory and sold through an MLS to be included
in our sales figures. If that is the case,  when a foreclose sales is not
successful, the number of sales do not increase and it will get counted in our
inventory figure.

Best,

Meredith
_____________________________________________
Meredith
Dunn | Research Communications Representative
NAR | Research Division

500 New Jersey Avenue
Washington, DC 20001
202/383-1207,
[email protected]

Find out daily what NAR economists are saying about
the real estate market.  
Visit
http://www.realtor.org/research/research_commentary.html

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