Canadian Realtors defend home sales and listings statistics

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Allegations by a high-profile financial commentator that statistics published by the Canadian Real Estate Association are suspect are getting the attention of the news media and other analysts.

Blogger and financial commentator Garth Turner bases his claims in part on the fact that agents often list homes with more than one multiple listing service. CREA Chief Economist Gregory Klump says the allegations are baseless.

Canada’s equivalent of realtor.com, Realtor.ca, “is not the basis on which we do our statistics,” Klump tells The Globe and Mail (Toronto). “Just because something is duplicately listed on Realtor.ca doesn’t mean that it’s duplicately counted in sales and in active listings.”

Turner’s allegations have caught the attention of other analysts, The Globe and Mail reports, and Bank of Montreal Chief Economist Douglas Porter says he finds them “fascinating.”

The National Association of Realtors in 2011 acknowledged that it had overestimated home sales for several years dating back to 2007. Adjustments made to data collected from MLSs to account for non-MLS sales hadn’t been updated to account for changes like a decline in “for sale by owner” sales not listed in an MLS, the trade group said at the time. Source: theglobeandmail.com