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by CareyBot

The latest annual forecast by the National Association of Realtors calls for an even stronger record year for housing than earlier predicted. Existing-home sales are expected to reach 6.97 million this year, a 2.8 percent gain over last year's record mark of 6.78 million. That's an improvement over last month's projection, which called for 6.89 million existing-home sales this year. New-home sales are expected to increase 3.2 percent to 1.24 million in 2005, also a record, the association announced today. Total housing starts – single-family and multifamily – are forecast to grow by 5 percent to 2.05 million units, the second highest on record; the peak was 2.36 million in 1972. This year is expected to be a record for single-family construction, with 1.68 million homes st...