National Association of Realtors housing data called into question

February 22, 2011 11:56AM

For many homeowners across the country, the U.S. housing crisis felt worse than the data showed — turns out, that might not be a coincidence, according to the Wall Street Journal. The National Association of Realtors, an industry group that regularly reports on home sales across the country, now says it may have overestimated the number of homes sold from 2007 to present. For example, NAR reported that 4.9 million previously owned homes sold in 2010, while another real estate data firm, CoreLogic contends that just 3.3 million sold during that time. Lawrence Yun, chief economist with NAR, said that his organization is “looking at [the data] carefully right now,” but didn’t indicate when or if the group would release revised figures. While NAR’s data may be off, Sam Khater, a senior economist with CoreLogic, said that it’s unlikely that any books were cooked. “This is an economic data issue, not a gaming-the-numbers issue,” Khater said. “Any time you get big shifts in the market, the numbers go haywire for a bit.” [WSJ]