By Jonathan Sweet, Editor in Chief
In a report sure to cause some controversy, real estate research firm CoreLogic  says that the National Association of Realtors is overestimating existing home sales by 15 to 20 percent.
The firm says that NAR is not taking into account the higher share of sales going through MLS systems or the decrease in for sale by owner home sales in making their projections.
CoreLogic estimates that total home sales were 3.6 million in 2010, down 12 percent from 4.1 million in 2009.
From the report:
Although it’s been widely reported that the National Association of Realtors’s (NAR) existing home sales data fell only 5% to 4.9 million in 2010, down from 5.2 million in 2009 and flat relative to 2008, the CoreLogic data indicates otherwise. ... CoreLogic existing home sales data did not experience an increase in 2009 and that sales fell again slightly in 2010.
CoreLogic also posits that the "inflated" sales numbers mean there is a higher inventory of homes on the market -- a 15-month supply, compared to the eight-month supply NAR estimates.