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Previewing NAR's Humiliating Multi-Year Existing Home Sales Downward Revision

Tyler Durden's picture


Today at 10:00 am the National Advertiser [sic] of Realtors, aka the NAR, headed by chief advertiser Larry Yun, will share its latest mockery of "numbers" about the state of the existing home market. Concurrently it will also admit that as Zero Hedge has been asserting for years, those very numbers are a complete fabrication, and should be widely ignored by the broader analyst population, when it also releases an extensive downward revision of all home sales from 2007 to the present. Naturally, the revision will be a humiliation for all banks which built bullish theses on the housing sector based on this data, and most will have to re-revise their data even lower. As such, don't expect extensive post-facto analyses of what this revision means for future forecasts and readers will likely have to reach their own conclusions on the true state of the US housing market. The only good thing to come out of this revision is that, finally, the NAR monthly update will be relegated to the dustbin of economic indicators where it belongs. In the meantime, here is Goldman with an advance preview of what to expect.

10:00: Existing home sales (November): Downward revisions. We forecast that existing home sales rose by 1.0% (month-over-month) in November. The pending home sales index (a leading indicator) has picked up, which should imply moderate growth in existing home sales.


More interesting than the November result may be benchmark revisions to existing home sales scheduled for today’s report. The National Association of Realtors (NAR)—the group that compiles the existing home sales data—announced in a recent press release that existing home sales are likely to be revised down because the NAR has discovered “a notable upward drift in the data compared to other data measurements such as courthouse deeds records”. The bias appears to have resulted from a variety of factors: (1) sales of existing homes by property owners (i.e. without use of a realtor) declined during the housing recession, which caused the NAR’s realtor-based sample to increase as a share of total existing home sales; (2) a greater number of sales of new homes were mistakenly recorded as existing home sales; (3) some localities began reporting sales over a larger geographical area; and (4) some home sales may have been double counted in the underlying source data. According to the NAR, the revision will affect both sales and the number of homes on the market from 2007-present. The revision will not affect the “months supply” of homes or the report’s estimate of median sales prices


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Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:18 | 2000561 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

So for the past 4 years all numbers were BS.  Nice!!!!!!!!   I am sure all data for the past 4 years were BS too.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:28 | 2000620 LibertyIn2010
LibertyIn2010's picture

beLIEve the NAR...ignorance is strength

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:38 | 2000653 Ruffcut
Ruffcut's picture

can't believe any of the numbers. Like GDP is worth a shit, too. Gross default prediction.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:08 | 2000730 The trend is yo...
The trend is your friend's picture

we can send a man to the moon, make telescopes that find planets like ours light years away, but can't seem to be able to accurately count a few hundred thousand home sales correctly....hhmm

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:21 | 2000768 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

i say fuck it...go all in and revise upward!!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:35 | 2000818 Surly Bear
Surly Bear's picture

An 'auditor' would say 'if I cannot trust your numbers from before, then what changes in personnel or methodology have you made that would lead me to trust your numbers now?' After the auditor receives the reply, the auditor would quietly request all data for independent verification....

I don't see that happening so I call shenanigans.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:55 | 2000875 redpill
redpill's picture

The answer is to use a better data source. And yes they do exist!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:24 | 2001026 eureka
eureka's picture

Real Estate = leverage for dummies. Just what are US citizens to do now that "The Millionaire Next Door" is no more - and just what is US Empire to do now that the last convenient bubble has burst?

Out-Source the last productive jobs, Off-Shore the last profits, Socialize the last losses and Make War!

Empire, Bitchez!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:09 | 2000947 twotraps
twotraps's picture

exactly....although I Hate to be reasonable at this late stage.  We could give the task to the Govt., they run an ass-kicking accounting scheme over there.  Oh, and there's no conflict of interest or anything.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:18 | 2000564 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

Now that the 'market' no longer is interested they can send out the actual numbers...

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:59 | 2000895 Da55id
Da55id's picture

Release the revision when everyone is busy shopping. Trees/forest/sound?

Next year, real estate rallies against now honest 4 year dumpster numbers.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:18 | 2000565 1835jackson
1835jackson's picture

But, but, but....oh fuck it....ok we at the NAR are a bunch of liars....our bads

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:20 | 2000569 chunga
chunga's picture

Show me the fax.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:25 | 2000575 hugovanderbubble
hugovanderbubble's picture

France downgraded * ALL THEIR BANKS ARE KAPUT ALL...Specially Credit Agricole and Societe Generale.


Honkong Downgraded * HSBC

Australia Downgraded

Canada Downgraded * Royal bank of canada kaput

Japan downgraded

Austria Downgraded

Sweden Downgraded

And GERMANY YES YES; GERMANY ...this country has cooked all the National Accounts book, their landesbanks are all Toasted and undercapitalized...






Neither norway...or Singapur

2012 will be funny....and scary


BOND bubble will blow up...soon...And its not a movie...

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:30 | 2000624 GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture


Hugo you're like a Spanish Sean Egan ;)

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:31 | 2000804 distopiandreamboy
distopiandreamboy's picture

We can start booking the profits we're going to get from mining Martian gold!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 13:49 | 2001624 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

The only Triple-A I see , rises every morning.  +1

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:21 | 2000576 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

It doesn't matter. The game was to use volatility to move speculative small money to the sidelines in equities. That money is restless and is now headed back into real estate.

Bubblicious II.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:21 | 2000577 jtmo3
jtmo3's picture

I can see it now....we were wrong by 20%. Less houses moved and were built than we said. Oh and BTW, sales rose 1% last month. Trust us this time.


What a fuck nut that yun is.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:21 | 2000578 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

NAR -- the BLS of housing stats

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:21 | 2000579 Sardonicus
Sardonicus's picture

meanwhile they will continue counting dog houses, tree houses, doll houses, inflatable bounce houses, and cars that homeless people have been sleeping in.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:31 | 2000633 fourchan
fourchan's picture

dont forget out houses in the!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:34 | 2000643 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


And reruns of House seperately in each individual market

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:58 | 2000701 Captain Kink
Captain Kink's picture

In the early '90s I lived here in the city and owned a '82 Ford Bronco that I parked on the street where I lived in Hell's Kitchen.  The triangle window was smashed so many times that I started leaving the rig unlocked and just let the homeless guys use it as their apartment during the winter nights.  Used to find syringes, McDonalds leftovers, etc on the floor.  I left a note asking that he/they please clean up after themselves---And they did start doing so.  Poor bastard(s) had some decency and apparently appreciated the gesture...

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:11 | 2000738 DB Cooper
DB Cooper's picture

So NAR thought you had built a house - sounds logical to me.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:20 | 2000767 Captain Kink
Captain Kink's picture

It may have been multi-family.  That rig was huge.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:51 | 2000865 Infinite QE
Infinite QE's picture

Actually, you triggered gains in numerous economic categories:

1. New vehicle sales, as a new window equaled a new vehicle
2. Mobile home sales, for the above mentioned reason
3. Multi family home activity
4. Medical goods sales activity
5. Manufacturing activity as McDs are considered mfg goods

Well done

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:21 | 2000580 fonzanoon
fonzanoon's picture

In what fucking profession can you incorrectly report the one fuckin thing you are supposed to report and then go ahead and give a current fuckin report and expect fuckin idiot media people to pontificate on this report, which the do. Fuckin fuck.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:30 | 2000625 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

I watched the first 10 minutes of ABC GMA and couldn't stand it. These twits CANNOT really be as stupid as they sound. It only means THEY ARE LIERS. They do not even pretend to have honesty anymore. They had a Bloomberger (trish regan?) on just bubbling about the fantastic housing numbers of yesterday... I guess BB gives an air of validity?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:17 | 2000762 uncommonsense
uncommonsense's picture

Government work?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:45 | 2001092 Herkimer Jerkimer
Herkimer Jerkimer's picture

I've got to second that "fuckin' fuck" about these fucks!

In what world are these people living in, that they can consistently get it so wrong, for whatever reason,
let alone the insinuation that they are deliberately skewing the data,
and they are constantly given a pass or a do-over?!?


I must be living in bizarro world, because I get my ass handed to me, IF I SCREW UP, but not these fucks!


Neither does my mommy, who'se sitting on a pile of dough, waiting to invest, but is too scared fuckin' shitless of what's coming,
or more so, what she doesn't know is coming, because nobody is telling her the truth,
because I send her copies of ZeroHedge to read!

And she's long given up the idea that what she sees and hears is just too outrageous,
as we passed the "outrageous" stop, miles ago!

Up here in Canada, when I showed the ol' bat the orginal bit from August on the Canadian BANKS she nearly croaked!

And now we have all the rest of the news on hypothication and all the rest of it? And not a peep from our media!

She's heading for the hills. She believes nobody.
And when 81 year old mothers don't believe anything they hear, you know we're all in big trouble.

Keep up the great work, ZeroHedge!

Once again, you bring it!


Wed, 12/21/2011 - 14:25 | 2001740 Steaming_Wookie_Doo
Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

Amen, brotha.

As for the NAR's apparent "error", really, what penalty might there be? They're not an investment service, not govt, etc. They are merely reporting "in good faith". They will fear no reprisals or knocks on the door from finance police. But what sort of f*nut would actually listen to the equivalent of a used car salesman to determine ANY course of action on investments? 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:23 | 2000587 ceilidh_trail
ceilidh_trail's picture

This data is equal in value to the numbers coming out of BLS- GIGO.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:23 | 2000589 death_to_fed_tyranny
death_to_fed_tyranny's picture

I see this as Bullish. I mean Bullshit.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:24 | 2000592 overmedicatedun...
overmedicatedundersexed's picture

a local man I know told me this week that he refi'd at 3% plus points. his home appras'd at 290,000 this go round..he bought it in 2008 for get ready: $460,000..and better news yet..home next door been on market for 8 months..highest offer $200,000!

the numbers are worse than they will report and have reported. at least here.  We are Not in Detroit or rust belt area.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:33 | 2000638 fourchan
fourchan's picture

i live in the city of detroit and have seen all your futures, its not good.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:36 | 2000647 Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture


Did it involve Peter Weller and the Dad from That 70's show?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:16 | 2000761 JPM Hater001
JPM Hater001's picture

Im in Wisconsin and they busted our unions up.  This makes me sad as I was hoping to become the disney land unions created in detroit.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:34 | 2001075 twotraps
twotraps's picture

Seriously, I have family there and when visiting I wonder about buying up some land in the city and they just laugh.   Can that thing ever bottom?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:25 | 2000593 westboundnup
westboundnup's picture

NAR is representative of real estate agents generally.  From 2007 onward the local real estate association has claimed that it was a good time to buy.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:24 | 2000594 Bulletsnbullion
Bulletsnbullion's picture

is this bullish?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:25 | 2000598 Silverhog
Silverhog's picture

All the vacant trashed houses in my area are still there. Long live the recovery.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:25 | 2000600 1835jackson
1835jackson's picture

Had a friend tell me the other day that a realtor is one step up from hair stylist

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:32 | 2000637 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

Actually, my barber IS a real estate salesman... he cuts hair so he can buy food.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:49 | 2000859 Optimusprime
Optimusprime's picture

Hilarious.  Now that you mention it, the same is true here locally--the RE agent who sold my son his house started and continues as a hair stylist.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:46 | 2000677 homersimpson
homersimpson's picture

more like one step up from being a car salesman - or a loan officer. At least the hair stylist makes an honest living.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:53 | 2000694 youLilQuantFuker
youLilQuantFuker's picture

Mine is basically an insider trader who cuts hair as part of his interrogation technique.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:12 | 2000743 1835jackson
1835jackson's picture

Good point.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 12:27 | 2001309 Larry Dallas
Larry Dallas's picture

Realtors are all whores. Brainwashed too. It's a strange cult of narcisists that one can find no where else, perhaps on local TV as anchor men and women.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 13:16 | 2001479 William Murderface
William Murderface's picture

C'mon now, being a hair stylist does require some skill.  A realtor however, requires..........well let's se........requires that you be able to fog a mirror perhaps?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:25 | 2000602 BullishBear
BullishBear's picture

MBA Purchase apps already gave us some kindling for the fire will the NAR throw a bunch of logs on?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:26 | 2000606 MFL8240
MFL8240's picture

This too be be a lie, there is nothing that comes out of these goverment reports thats believable. 

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:38 | 2000651 Barometer
Barometer's picture

The NAR have probably been in charge of GDP calculations as well

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:00 | 2000898 Everyman
Everyman's picture

They just used the "BLS Seasonal Adjustment" model!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:45 | 2000673 Bastiat009
Bastiat009's picture

real estate numbers are BS

unemployment numbers are BS

election outcome is BS (decided by Supreme Court)

CIA info is BS

banks balance sheets are BS (marked to whatever you like)

was the Matrix a fiction or a documentary?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 09:50 | 2000686 sudzee
sudzee's picture

Revisions will make future numbers look really good in comparison. Change we can believe in.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:47 | 2000854 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

That's what I was thinking. YoY numbers will start rising from the hole they've hidden.

In an election year, even. Who'da thunk it?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:01 | 2000707 Rip van Wrinkle
Rip van Wrinkle's picture

The bias appears to have resulted from a variety of factors...


No GS. Just the one factor.


They f**king lied.


Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:05 | 2000720 Tsar Pointless
Tsar Pointless's picture

NAR is a business, isn't it? So why so pissy, everybody?

"Government needs to be run more like a business."

That's what we heard throughout the 1980s.

Well, it is now totally run like a business.

It's Enron, with a large dose of Goldman Sachs and General Motors thrown into the mix.

There. Is that better now?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:14 | 2000753 uncommonsense
uncommonsense's picture

Does anyone else think yesterday's runaway uptick was due in part to prevent today's euro 1.25 prediction or NAR's crow lunch from destroying the down-trend market?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:00 | 2000902 j.tennquist
j.tennquist's picture

If it was, it won't

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:23 | 2000778 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

Realtors are the most Underlicensed, poorly trained, narcissistic, vulture like, self absorbed and fucking useless demographic we have in the US today!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:27 | 2000783 j.tennquist
j.tennquist's picture

Yeah, sure.  The Fed is run like a business.

Firewalled from all forms of scrutiny.  Insulated from political whim and yet it has become a power center like none other.  Even the IRS can't drill a peep hole into that bunker.

Government is still a second rate Masonic lodge, secret handshakes and all.   You know what they want you to know and hear what they want you to hear.    

Like todays NAR number.  Whatever it is, it will serve the agenda of some planner at the fed in conjunction with some lackey at Fannie or HUD who has a cousin that works for GoldmanSachs etc, etc...

Not quite a business, just a big circle jerk.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:47 | 2000851 Roy T
Roy T's picture

I believe ZH predicted weeks ago that this official announcement would be made only after a positive number was published.  After yesterdays release, score another one for ZH.


Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:47 | 2000852 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

The MBA purchase application index is a better indicator of the housin market. And CoreLogic's indices.


Look at Obama's streamlined refi program. It's gone flat already!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:47 | 2000853 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

The MBA purchase application index is a better indicator of the housin market. And CoreLogic's indices.


Look at Obama's streamlined refi program. It's gone flat already!

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:59 | 2000893 Everyman
Everyman's picture

You know, it is really bad and speaks volumes of "business" today when people whose sole purpose for being is to "count", and suck at it.  The NAR is supposed to be looking out for Realtors by giving them accurate information.  Any 'prudent" business person wants "real", or "correct", or "actual" numbers so as to have a base make proper and intelligent business decisions.  The NAR is no longer about realtors, but has, like many in the "numbers business" made a mess of their credibility and have divorced themselves from heir actual reason for being.

This is true across the entire "business" structure in our country. "Accounting" isn't any longer.  "Accounting" is for hiding and manipulating the "real" numbers, you know like when your balance sheet is trashed and indicates you are no longer in business.

BLS is a really good indicator of the "numbers" problem.  According to their own "seasonably corrected" numbers we have had over 110 week of 400,000 or higher jobs lost,... meaning we have lost twice as many jobs as have been created for the last 2 years!!!!  ZH has been on the edge of this, but the Lamestream media actually believes the "numbers" of 8.2% UE!!!!!

When we can't get the real numbers to run business correctly, how the HELL do we have ANY confidence in any entity that wants us t "invest" in them with BS numbers????

Meaning Physical is the only thing to own.  Equities mean nothing, if the numbers can't be verified.  IF the numbers can't be verified, then the VALUE can't be assessed.  Same thing in the housing world, and THAT is a big problem with all that MBS trash out there.

This is what the Iceberg looked like in the dark, the one that Titanic hit.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:23 | 2001022 twotraps
twotraps's picture

Everyman, great comment.

Agree, really well said.  More eloquently than I may have put it and you get to the heart of it....'Value'.  I don't want any shit from anyone about the Exact valuation of any one point is that we are nation of Gamers.  We game the system and create an edge.  Accountants are not a creative bunch, they need to know the rules to get around them.   The massive assumption that we rarely talk about is how things are valued or what they may be worth and how the larger market may react to certain information.   Isn't that the whole point?  I hear about the 'crisis' all the time as though its in isolation from everything else?!!  The ratings agencies are a joke, accounting is a joke...from NAR to re-hypothecation to accounting holdiays for RE on bank books!!!  So, how can we possibly know how to price things when we don't actually have the information to do so and every single bit of info we do have has been parsed by lawyers and accountants to give the appearance of calm?  Honestly, what corporate report is worth anything?  


The only reality is the last price of whatever market you are in...that number moves up and down and has direct impact on the balance in your account.  Insult ot injury---------------That is now under attack!!!   Is any of it to be believed?  Yesterday?  Nearly 40 handles in the S&P?  What can be done when the entire thing is a sham?

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 16:30 | 2002145 Westcoastliberal
Westcoastliberal's picture

I've been saying the same thing since 2007 when I saw the first indication first hand that the collapse was coming fast.  Since then the gap between "official" numbers and reality has grown to what I consider to be "Grand Canyon" size.  Today's NAR revelation is just the leading edge; believe me there's lots more under the surface.  Jobs, GDP, you name it.

Wed, 12/21/2011 - 11:35 | 2001086 Snakeeyes
Snakeeyes's picture

NAR Revised Existing Home Sales Revised 15% Downwards for 2010 ... But Up +4% for November (Or Down From the Prerevision)


Wed, 12/21/2011 - 13:55 | 2001641 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

well there is some good news in all of this revelation of one will lose his job for incompetent counting.....

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 00:44 | 2003458 ThrivingAdmistC...
ThrivingAdmistCollapse's picture

Wow the incompetence of these corporations is shocking.  No wonder we are still in the middle of a housing and economic collapse.

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