Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In November; Previous Years Revised Down : The Two-Way While it says sales of existing homes rose 4 percent in November from October, the National Association of Realtors also reported today that there were about 2.9 million fewer homes sold from the start of 2007 through the end of 2010 than thought.
NPR logo Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In November; Previous Years Revised Down

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In November; Previous Years Revised Down

A "sold" sign outside a home in Pasadena, Calif., in September 2009. New data show fewer such sales that year. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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David McNew/Getty Images

A "sold" sign outside a home in Pasadena, Calif., in September 2009. New data show fewer such sales that year.

David McNew/Getty Images

While it says sales of existing homes rose 4 percent in November from October and were 12.2 percent above the level of November 2010, the National Association of Realtors also reported today that revisions to its data show there were about 2.9 million fewer homes sold from the start of 2007 through the end of 2010 than previously thought.

According to NAR, it now estimates there were 17.7 million existing homes sold over those four years — about 14.3 percent fewer than previously thought.

So the sharp decline of the housing market in recent years now looks even more precipitous.

Among the reasons why the number went down:

— In the previous figures, homes that had been "flipped" (re-sold within 12 months) were counted twice. Now, they're counted once.

— In some cases, a home had been listed in more than one metropolitan area's reporting service, so its sale got counted twice.