NAr reaffirms they have no credibility by reporting false increases in sales
It’s no secret that I don’t particularly like the practices of the NAr. They consistently embarrass themselves and their members by putting out false and misleading data and press releases. Credibility comes from telling the truth, even when that truth may be unpopular or contrary to one’s own interests. The NAr has consistently lacked credibility as they have proven unwilling to say anything negative about the prospects for real estate despite a massive decline in sales volumes and resale prices. They consistently told buyers to purchase homes as sound investments when prices were inflated and falling. From 2007 through 2011, prices were too high in most markets to warrant purchasing for cashflow investment purposes, and with falling prices, there was certainly no reason to buy for wealth building from appreciation. Despite these obvious facts, the NAr still urged everyone to buy. It’s a self-serving manipulation designed to generate commissions at the expense of hapless buyers. Shame on the NAr.
The latest NAr reporting scam involves the obscure practice of data revision. It’s not uncommon for government agencies and other bodies that collect and disseminate monthly data to go back and revise prior reports when final data comes in. There is a balance between timeliness and accuracy. Revisions are sometimes necessary. If the data compiler is making an honest effort to report the truth, the revisions should be small, and the downward revisions should equal out the upward revisions. That’s not what we get with the NAr.
The NAr wants to tout the strength of the market, even when it is weak. The easiest way to make the market look strong is to report an increase in sales. But what happens when sales actually go down? Well, the NAr has a solution to that problem. They merely revise their previous month’s data downward to create an increase which doesn’t really exist. By consistently overstating their sales data then downwardly revising after the fact, the NAr can consistently report rising sales even when sales are not rising. It works well for them. They dupe a few more people into buying, and their membership is happy. But what about the people who based decisions on the faulty NAr data? That’s not the NAr’s problem, is it?
Washington, DC, February 22, 2012
Existing-home sales rose in January, marking three gains in the past four months, while inventories continued to improve, according to the National Association of realtors®.
Total existing-home sales1, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.57 million in January from a downwardly revised 4.38 million-unit pace in December and are 0.7 percent above a spike to 4.54 million in January 2011.
Back in December, the NAr reported “The latest monthly data shows total existing-home sales1 rose 5.0 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.61 million in December from a downwardly revised 4.39 million in November.” Note that the 4.57 million they reported in January is below the 4.61 million they reported in December, but with the magic of downward revisions, they get to report a 4.3% increase. Also note they they pulled the same trick in December to get a number bigger than what they reported in November.
Am I the only one bothered by this behavior?
Lawrence Yun, NAr chief economist, said strong gains in contract activity in recent months show buyers are responding to very favorable market conditions. “The uptrend in home sales is in line with all of the underlying fundamentals – pent-up household formation, record-low mortgage interest rates, bargain home prices, sustained job creation and rising rents.”
Total housing inventory at the end of January fell 0.4 percent to 2.31 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 6.1-month supply2 at the current sales pace, down from a 6.4-month supply in December.
“The broad inventory condition can be described as moving into a rough balance, not favoring buyers or sellers,” Yun said. “Foreclosure sales are moving swiftly with ready home buyers and investors competing in nearly all markets. A government proposal to turn bank-owned properties into rentals on a large scale does not appear to be needed at this time.”
LOL! Yun sees potential sales deferred to future years and doesn’t want that to happen. Between the existing REO and shadow inventory, banks need these bulk sales to regain their capital without causing a catastrophic decline in house prices in every market. Yun wants the sales to generate commissions, but he ignores the very unpleasant side effect of the lower prices this liquidation will cause.
Total unsold listed inventory has trended down from a record 4.04 million in July 2007, and is 20.6 percent below a year ago.
NAr President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said buying power is enticing more potential home buyers. “Word has been spreading about the record high housing affordability conditions and our members are reporting an increase in foot traffic compared with a year ago,” he said. “With other favorable market factors, these are hopeful indicators leading into the spring home-buying season. We’re cautiously optimistic that an uptrend will continue this year.”
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/22/2012 10:13 -0500
And here is yet another reason why we will permanently ignore the pathologically lying real estate syndicate known as the NAR (link): December data was just revised from +5% to -0.5% (from 4.61 million to 4.38 million). Since December market expectations were for a +5.2% print, imagine the sheer horror the algos would have been faced with had the real number been reported on time. Needless to say, if this number had been unrevised, the January +4.3% increase would have been a decline. This way the aglos focused only on the immediate moment get two months of beats in a row. Huzzah. Anyone who trades anything based on this borderline criminal self-reporting enterprise needs to have their head checked.
People trade on this information all the time. The only reason the NAr collects and reports this information is part of a broader public relations campaign to get people to buy homes. The NAr presentation is designed to fool people who are too busy to really investigate what’s going on for themselves. Most people accept realtors as an authority on real estate and put their trust in them as if realtors were an objective source of honest information. Unfortunately, realtors generally don’t deserve the trust they are given.
In other news, when will the LIBOR investigation finally target the NAR?
And for feces and giggles, here is the one, the only, NAR mastermind Larry Yun.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said these are early signs of what may be a sustained recovery. “The pattern of home sales in recent months demonstrates a market in recovery,” he said. “Record low mortgage interest rates, job growth and bargain home prices are giving more consumers the confidence they need to enter the market.”
NAR President Moe Veissi, broker-owner of Veissi & Associates Inc., in Miami, said more buyers are expected to take advantage of market conditions this year. “The American dream of homeownership is alive and well. We have a large pent-up demand, and household formation is likely to return to normal as the job market steadily improves,” he said. “More buyers coming into the market mean additional benefits for the overall economy. When people buy homes, they stimulate a lot of related goods and services.”
Warning: the man in the above video may be a paid actor.
Golf clap Larry for this latest piece of paid propaganda. However if you were to actually stand back and have an objective thought for once in your life you would know that record low mortgage interest rates are doing absolutely nothing for consumer confidence, as shown here.
Both interest rates and purchase applications for mortgages are near record lows. Locally we are seeing an increase in sales and declining inventory, and much of it is due to low interest rates making prices affordable. However, that isn’t what’s happening in the rest of the country.
The NAr is an embarrassment, a pathetic joke played on buyers for the benefit of realtors and sellers. Unfortunately, the government isn’t forcing them to change their ways, and I haven’t heard of any movement in the organization to change things either. The NAr will continue to ply their trade, and I will continue to point out the error of their ways.