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by CareyBot

SAN FRANCISCO -- With home sales holding at historically high levels, only modest cooling is expected next year, according to a forecast released today at the National Association of Realtors Conference & Expo in San Francisco. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said strong demand should keep home sales at historically high levels in 2006. "We are in the process of setting a fifth consecutive annual record for both existing- and new-home sales, but the market will be coming off of a five-year boom and experience a soft landing next year," Lereah said. "An uptrend in mortgage interest rates will cause some slowing of the sales pace, but we forecast 2006 to be the second-highest year on record and housing will continue to support the overall economy." Existing-home sales, which should...