A closer look at the data, however, shows that not seasonally adjusted monthly sales for September shows a MUCH DIFFERENT STORY. Sales actually dropped 5.2% vs. August and were up 7.8% vs. last year. The median price dropped 8.5 vs. September 2008. Here is the NAR's data link: Existing home sales
Hmmm. What do we do with the discrepency? If you are the NAR and the and NAHB (Nat'l Assoc of Homebuilders) you start lobbying extra hard in front of Congress (note: this means giving huge campaign contributions to key Congressmen) using the hocus pocus seasonally adjusted mickey mouse number, claiming that the home buyer tax credit program is working.
I would suggest that the unadjusted monthly number, not the seasonally adjusted annualized number, is more likely to be the accurate snapshot of existing home sales. It would also reflect the seasonal reality that homes sales typically drop after Labor Day. It's clear to me that NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun, and his band of merry fraudsters, took their abacus and calculators and crafted a number which would "demonstrate" - to well-paid-off members of Congress who are looking at extending the home buyer taxpayer payer program - that the program needs to be extended.
Looking at the unadjusted, actual month-to-month number, it's clear that the tax credit has stimulated some home sales. Furthermore, there was a rush to go into contract and secure financing before the exiting legislation expires at the end of November. I would also argue that, without completely throwing out any measure of credit worthiness and allowing anyone capable of fogging a mirror to get a mortgage and use the tax credit (all the fraud uncovered notwithstanding) that a large majority of those who were planning on buying a first home have probably done so this summer.
To me, the numbers released today by the NAR unequivocally reflect the massive fraud, corruption and deceit going on at all levels of our economic and political system. To book-end with another quote from "Macbeth," I would say with regard to Lawrence Yun, and anyone else promoting today's existing homes sales numbers as anything less than fantasy:
"Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."