Calculated Risk reported on this last week as CoreLogic had noted that they have quite a discrepancy between their data and the National Association of REALTORS data regarding home sales. CoreLogic figures the NAR has been over reporting sales data by 15-20%.
According to this story in the Wall Street Journal today, even the National Association of REALTORS has acknowledged that they are doing a review and will publish the findings in a few months. If you read the story, you will see why the numbers probably are not accurate. They use models to estimate sales and some of those models are based upon various MLSes. Well, the MLSes across the country are consolidating and it’s not exactly clear any longer what data they represent given the consolidation.
The national home sales data seems to me to be a little like the US Government’s Federal Unemployment Report…can they really give an accurate picture of unemployment in America with 300 million people? It’s all a little fuzzy.
Now that said, on a local basis, I believe most markets are getting accurate data from their local Boards of REALTORS and MLSes. For example, in the Twin Cities, we have one of the best associations in the country with regard to reporting home sales data responsively and accurately. The Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS does an outstanding job of that.