Industry News

More talk of housing slowdown

Real estate frenzy to calm this year, experts say

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NEW YORK -- The real estate scene may not be quite as hip and exciting to talk about this year, with economists and industry insiders agreeing that markets have hit a slowdown. But don't count on negative news either; experts predict home sales will continue to boom and prices will continue to rise, though at a much calmer pace. In a nutshell, as long as the overall economy is sailing along, housing will continue to do just fine. "When the dust settles in 2006, I think the overall growth will be less than in 2005, but will be less volatile," Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Manhattan-based Miller Samuel, said during a panel discussion at Real Estate Connect in New York last week. Miller's firm collects real estate data for the Manhattan market, which recently showed a 27.2 percent drop in sales in the fourth quarter 2005 and a 20.3 percent increase in average prices. The first half of 2005 saw a significant run-up in prices, Miller noted, stimulated by a record low level of inve...