NAR: 4% Quarterly Gain is (Oops) Actually a 30% Loss

Saturday, June 14, 2008 | 10:27 AM

TBP has long complained about the spinmeisters at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for their pollyannish views and their continual bottom calling.

It turns out that the spin from the NAR isn't the only thing that is suspect. It seems their data collection and basic math skills are questionable, also.

Case in point: Q1 Housing Sales.

James Bednar is Editor of the NJ Real Estate Report -- a blog about Garden State realty issues. James is also a realtor, and was rather surprised to learn back on May 13th, that first quarter sales in New Jersey were up 4% year over year. At least, that's what the National Association of Realtors claimed when they released their first quarter 2008 sales data.

That didn't jibe with what James was seeing, so he requested the data from the NAR. Five times -- all to no avail. Despite what local realtors were experiencing, both the NAR and the NJAR believed that NJ was improving. Good news and proof of the housing bottom at last!

Only, it was not to be. As was reported in the Star-Ledger this morning, NJ home sales were not up 4% in the first quarter; they had (whoops!) plunged 30 percent!:

"On Friday, the Realtors’ group issued a huge correction, saying that instead of a slight increase, New Jersey’s housing market actually saw a 30 percent drop in home sales during the first quarter compared with the same period last year.

“It happened in the crunching of the numbers,” said NAR spokesman Lucien Salvant. “It was just a mistake and we owned up to it.”

As it turns out, only 114,100 homes were sold across the state during the first quarter - nearly a third less than the 163,000 sales recorded in the first three months of 2007."

Granted, anyone can make an error -- but one would have thought that a positive Q in NJ compare to the rest of the Northeast and the  nation would have caused SOMEONE to spot the anomaly, doublecheck the math, oir at least answer a Realtor's emails.

NAR chose D) None of the above. Why am I not surprised by this?

Read the full details at the links below. . .


VINDICATION - NJ Q1 Home Sales down 30%
NJ Report, Sat 14 Jun 2008

NJ home sales plunged 30 percent in first quarter
Sam Ali
The Star-Ledger, Saturday June 14, 2008, 6:53 AM

Saturday, June 14, 2008 | 10:27 AM | Permalink | Comments (23) | TrackBack (0) add to | digg digg this! | technorati add to technorati | email email this post



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Another example of our Liar Culture. In my parochial little mind I imagine that the folks who manufacture our government statistics travel in the same circles as the NAR folks. Perhaps their kids attend the same schools, they go to the same cocktail parties etc.

We need to shine some light on the BEA, BLS, etc. especially after the NASA press secretary was caught shilling for the Neocons by changing numbers and massaging headlines on Global Warming. (he also lied about having a college degree but that's another story).

My guess is that we are living in the first "Weekend at Bernie's" economy. It turns out that you actually need factories and cheap energy to prosper! Who'd a thunk it!

Posted by: Paul Jones | Jun 14, 2008 10:55:23 AM

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