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Following the re-benchmarking effort conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) in December 2011, C.A.R. re- benchmarked the California’s aggregate historic single-family existing-home sales.

Re-benchmarking is an adjustment performed periodically on a series of data to ensure its continued accuracy.  It is necessary to revisit the benchmark regularly, as the underlying assumptions of the data series may change over a period of time.  Because a rebenchmarking of the California home sales series was last performed in 1999, it was necessary to go through the process again to ensure that the underlying assumptions are still accurate and truly reflect what the latest market conditions suggest.  In the current rebenchmarking process, C.A.R. used the methodology developed by NAR, employing latest U.S. Census surveys to calculate the total number of annual home sales and created a new benchmark, or baseline, to track changes in existing home sales.

The revised data maintained the characterization of past market cycles. The information about falling, rising, or stabilizing trends still holds true and provides key information about market direction.

There are no revisions to sales and price data at the MLS level, as these figures are calculated based on all reported sales and prices. Supply indicators such as the Unsold Inventory Index and Median Time on Market, distressed sales statistics, and the housing affordability index have not been revised because these indices are calculated based on actual, reported sales and price statistics and are not based on benchmarked estimates.  Median home prices remain unchanged, and the data has no impact on consumers who want to buy or sell a home in today’s market.

Factors for Re-benchmarking:

•  Expanded data sample size and increased coverage over more sampled geographic areas
•  More REALTOR®-assisted home sales and fewer for-sale-by owner home sales
•  More homebuilders seeking REALTOR® assistance in listing properties on MLSs
•  More data being retrieved electronically, which allows C.A.R. to collect data more accurately and
   with more consistency

For more information on the method employed, visit the following website:
Description of Methodology to Benchmark Existing-Home Sales, 2011


Additional files for re-benchmarking:

Presentation: Re-benchmarking of California Existing Home Sales

CA Existing Single Family Detached Home Sales (monthly) 

CA Existing Single Family Detached Home Sales (annual) 

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