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NAR revises its home sales figures

BY Brae Canlen

After analyzing several years of data, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has announced that it overestimated the number of existing homes sold between 2007 and 2010 by 14.3%. This means that 2.9 million fewer homes were sold in the United States during that time period than previously thought.

The NAR said the benchmarking study, typically done every 10 years, was undertaken after real estate groups began questioning some of the trade organization’s monthly home sales reports.  A series of errors led to over-counting home sales, including relying on data from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and outdated 2000 U.S. Census numbers.

NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun said the downward shift in the numbers indicates that the housing market took a deeper dive than initially estimated.

But the new report, completed with the help of the government, economists and real estate groups, contained some good news. According to the NAR, the inventory of unsold homes is lower than initially thought, which can increase demand among buyers. For November of 2011, 2.58 million single-family homes and condos were for sale, down 18.1% from a year ago.

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Allied purchases Minneapolis roofing company

BY Brae Canlen

Allied Building Products Corp., a division of Oldcastle, has completed its acquisition of United Products Corp., a privately held roofing and siding distributor based in Minneapolis. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.

Founded in 1925, United was purchased in 1975 by Al and Char Hatfield, who grew the business to 15 branches across five states; seven in Minnesota, three each in Wisconsin and North Dakota, and one each in South Dakota and Nebraska.

Allied has made a number of acquisitions this year, including Astro Building Supplies, a two-branch distributor in Taylor, Mich.; Philadelphia-based Ivan Supply Co.; the Smyrna, Ga. branch of American Wholesale; and Pacific Source of Hawaii.

Based in East Rutherford, N.J., Allied is a wholesale distributor of exterior and interior building, including residential and commercial roofing, waterproofing, siding, windows, drywall, acoustical, metal framing and solar products. It serves contractors in 30 states. Annual revenues are $1.7 billion.

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Existing-home sales increase 4.0%

BY Ken Clark

Existing-home sales rose again in November and remain above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The November figure came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million, up 4.0% from October’s pace, and up 12.2% from November 2010.

“Sales reached the highest mark in 10 months and are 34% above the cyclical low point in mid-2010 — a genuine sustained sales recovery appears to be developing,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “We’ve seen healthy gains in contract activity, so it looks like more people are realizing the great opportunity that exists in today’s market for buyers with long-term plans.”

Also released  were periodic benchmark revisions with downward adjustments to sales and inventory data since 2007, led by a decline in for-sale-by-owners.

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