Existing-home sales are projected to reach a record level of about 6.49 million this year, a 6.4 percent increase over the previous record of 6.1 million set last year, the National Association of Realtors announced today. New-home sales are also expected to reach a record level this year at 1.15 million, compared with 1.09 million in 2003. Those numbers are down slightly from last month's projection for existing-home sales of 6.5 million and new home sales of 1.16 million. David Lereah, chief economist for the association, said month-to-month existing-home sales should not experience significant shifts. "In the first quarter of 2005, the trend will be a gradual ease in the sales pace with the housing market coasting at historically high levels as mortgage interest rates rise," he said. "...
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