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How Many Homes For Sale in the U.S.?

February 7, 2008
tags: , , ,

Doing some market research, I ran across a curious problem.  Apparently, no one knows how many homes are available for sale in the U.S. at any given time.

Realtor.com — the closest thing we have to a national real estate website — claims “Over 3 million new, existing, and rental properties listed by Realtors” right on their front page.

Presumably, those listed by real estate agents who are not Realtors (i.e., members of National Association of Realtors) and FSBO’s and so on are not counted in that 3 million number.

But the United States Department of Justice makes an unsourced claim that there are “over 1.5 million homes” available for sale at any given time in the U.S. (Paragraph 18)

That’s a pretty wide gap, between 1.5 million and 3 million (only by Realtors, no less).

Of course, both sources include that key word, “over” — so if the actual number of 4.5 million, then both could be correct.  Realtor has “over” 3 million, and the DOJ claims “over” 1.5 million for sale.  Interestingly, neither source has any further info on how they came about that number.

How is it that our industry doesn’t even know this basic fact?  Anyone know how many homes are available for sale at any given time in the United States?

-rsh

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One Comment leave one →
  1. February 7, 2008 8:27 pm

    I don’t think there is any way that Realtor.com can embelish their listing count without some repercussions. And the DOJ…who knows what they are thinking. It’s always safe to use those words like “over” or “near.” –The number of active listings in the US is greater than or equal to 1. lol

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