Maybe Madoff Can Be a Judge

NAR economists promised to study the [issue of overstated housing sales] during a December conference call that included economists from the Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Reserve, the Federal Housing Finance Agency and CoreLogic.

–“Home Sales Data Doubted“; The Wall Street Journal (2/22/11)

One of the real estate stories bubbling up the last week or two is news that the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) may have overcounted housing sales for the last several years.

Apparently, rival statistics compiled by CoreLogic, a private company, show substantially lower sales than reported by NAR — raising questions about the latter’s methodology and numbers.


Which is a surprise to at least one Realtor (this one).

That’s because I’d always assumed that NAR’s numbers were simply tallied, like hardcover book sales or election results (oops!).

It turns out that, much like the government’s unemployment statistics, NAR’s numbers are based on not a few estimates and assumptions — assumptions that require valid premises, lest the conclusions be flawed.

Nah, economists from NAR, The Fed, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac could never make that mistake . . .

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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