Editor's note: Experts have predicted that the torrid pace of home sales and double-digit price growth would slow this year, and some segments are already experiencing this. In this three-part report we take the housing market's latest pulse to get a feel for what's happening across the country and what real estate executives advise brokers and agents can do to stay on top. (See Part 2 and Part 3.) Large home builders will be tested this year as sales figures are dipping across the country. Some public home-building companies are already feeling the weight of a slowing market as their stock prices have taken a hit in the past couple of months. Analysts are paying close attention to the builders' latest earnings announcements, as well as home sales statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau and National Association of Realtors. Robert P. Curran, an analyst for the Fitch Ratings agency, said builders' net new orders for the latest quarter have generally been weaker than a year a...
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