So, why isn't NAR publishing all the stats? Read on. Lenn gives you some ideas.
* * * * HARD CORE REAL ESTATE TALK * * * *NATIONAL HOME SALES STATISTICS - HELPFUL INFORMATION OR MEANINGLESS NUMBERS?
How many SOLD? How many LOST?
JULY TO AUGUST HOME SALES STATISTICS FROM THE NAR
Regionally, home sales fell in three of four major regions. From July to August seasonally adjusted sales changes were as follows:
- In the Northeast, existing home sales fell 2.2 percent
- In the Midwest, sales declined 6.6 percent
- in the South, sales decreased 3.1 percent
- in the West, sales increased 2.7 percent
SO MANY QUESTIONS. SO FEW ANSWERS.
As is often the case with published statistics, they lead to more questions than they give answers. What I want to know is:
- How many of the home sales represent the sale of bank owned properties, REOs??
- How many of the home sales represent Short Sales??
NONE of the statistics from the entities that report sales have reported this information. NONE.
So, I peeked behind the curtains in my own fairly trusty MLS SOLD statistics and found:
In August of 2009, the latest reporting period, of 713 reported closed sales in Prince William County, Virginia. . . .
- 188 SOLD properties were SHORT SALES.
- 82 SOLD properties were BANK OWNED SALES.
FACT: Short Sales and Foreclosure Sales represented about 38% of closed sales in Prince William County Virginia.
WHY PUBLISH THE SOLD STATISTICS? No doubt to put a positive spin on the housing industry and encourage more sales.
WHY NOT PUBLISH THE FORECLOSURE and SHORT SALE STATISTICS? Good question Lenn. What could the answer be?
That they don't have access to the data? I do. However, it is possible that many local MLSs do not compile this data. That means that the MLSs need better reporting capabilities which is simple programming and data retrieval.
That they don't know how to compute a statistic? Aw, come on. Economists are able to compute a simple statistic. It's in their DNA.
That they seek to obfuscate the true picture of the housing industry? Mmm. Could be, but why? Could it be that the reporting entities have bought into the myth that "if you think nice thoughts that nice things will happen?" Nonsense! That's the stuff of which new real estate licensees are sold on to make them believe that they will, indeed, survive until their first sale closes.
QUESTION: Why is reporting foreclosure sales and short sales important?
ANSWER: Because that number would reveal the number of homes LOST!
"Honey, our agent called and she received an offer for our home."
"O.K. I wonder how much longer we have. My job starts next month. You'll have to stay behind and handle the sale. I'm sorry we have to move away Dear, but it's the only place my company is keeping open. Don't worry, some day we'll be able to own our own home again."