Industry News

Real estate sales on track to set record pace

Existing-home sales expected to reach 6.49 million this year

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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. "At this point, with strong market fundamentals, we project next year will be the second-best overall year for the housing market." Housing starts are forecast at 1.94 million in 2004, compared with 1...