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Realtors Group Has Some Bad News: Housing Market Could Actually be Weaker Than We Thought

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Because Somebody "made a mistake."

One of the most crucial and closely watched measures of the housing market is the existing home sales number, which is published monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), notes Business Insider.

During this economic crisis, and as bad as things are, it turns out that they may be far worse than we thought.

The NAR "accidentally included some new homes sales figures and double counted some of the existing home sales figures," reports the Insider.

What does this mean? This means the health of the housing market could be far weaker than we thought--far, far weaker.

"All the sales and inventory data that has been reported since January 2007 is being downwardly revised. Sales were weaker than people thought," NAR spokesman Walter Malony told Reuters. "We're capturing some new home data that should have been filtered out and we also discovered that some properties were being listed in more than one list."

Early this year, the Realtors group was accused of over-counting existing homes sales, saying that the sales they had estimated could have been overstated "as much as 20 percent."

The NAR said it was "consulting with a range of experts" to see whether or not there was a drift in its monthly existing home sales data and that any drift would be "relatively minor."

Again what does this all mean? "The depressed housing market is one of the key obstacles to strong economic growth and an oversupply of unsold homes on the market continues to stifle the sector," Reuters explains.

This most recent revelation only confirms what economists have been questioning for years, according to the Wall Street Journal.

You may want to prepare yourself for a shock when the newly revised figures are published on December 21 with the release of the November existing home sales data.

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