Industry News

Real estate price increases poised for slowdown

Realtors association expects more moderate rises this year

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Existing-home sales are expected to reach 5.96 million this year, which is 2.4 percent below the record of 6.1 million set last year, the National Association of Realtors reports in an economic outlook released today. NAR expects new-home sales to reach 1.06 million, and median existing-home prices are projected to rise 4.4 percent this year to $177,400. Last year, the median existing-home price rose 7.5 percent. Also, median new-home prices are expected to increase 4.4 percent to $202,900. NAR expects the unemployment rate to drop to 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of the year, with job growth partially offsetting an expected rise in interest rates. David Lereah, chief economist for the association, said the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is expected to reach 6.4 percent by the close of the year. "The fundamental demand for housing against a backdrop of an improving economy and mortgage interest rates that remain historically low mean home sales will remain near record levels." L...