Ray Ewing from Sandicor, keepers of the local Multiple Listings Service, told me today it wasn’t Sandicor’s fault that the big statewide trade group, the California Association of Realtors, reported faulty info for San Diego’s sales counts.

The uncomfortable error showed up in the Wall Street Journal yesterday afternoon.

For his part, Robert Kleinhenz, CAR’s deputy chief economist, told me today he wasn’t trying to point fingers at the local MLS folks, but that whenever an MLS changes its system — like our region’s did a year ago — there are bugs to be worked out. I asked whether the erroneous 89 percent year-over-year increase in home sales that the group had reported had stood out in the economists’ review of the numbers before they reported them.

“Normally that would seem like a truly unusual figure,” he said. “But if you if you take a look around the state, one of the issues is that all this is happening against the backdrop where — in places like San Diego and Riverside — we have been seeing some fairly large year-over-year gains.”

In this case, the gain was considerably smaller than first reported. CAR will be revising its 89 percent number to about 6.5 percent at the end of the month, he said.

“Clearly there was a data error,” Kleinhenz said. “This happens to be one of the larger discrepancies that we’ve run into. … While it’s large, it satisfied our error checking processes and I think they’re adequate.”

Update: The original version of this post incorrectly stated that the gain “wasn’t considerably smaller than first reported.” We regret the error.

KELLY BENNETT

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