It appears that the already depressing sales numbers reported by the National Association of Realtors for previously occupied homes between 2007 and 2010 were actually inflated, which means that whatever the corrected numbers are they're going to be even more depressing:
Among the reasons for the inflated figures, the Realtors group says: changes in the way the Census Bureau collects data, population shifts and some sales being counted twice. Last year's total sales figure of 4.91 million was the worst in 13 years.
The Realtors consulted with several government and private housing market experts, including the Federal Reserve, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Association of Home Builders, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and CoreLogic, the California-based data firm that first raised doubts about the annual numbers earlier this year.
CoreLogic estimated that the Realtors group overstated sales in 2010 by at least 15 percent.
NAR says they'll publish revised numbers on December 21.