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by CareyBot

David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, said he expects new-home sales to drop 12 percent this year compared to a record 1.28 million units in 2005. New-home sales in the first quarter of this year were down 10 percent from fourth-quarter 2005, and he said he expects sales to ease further in the coming months before leveling off in 2007. Seiders spoke Thursday during a National Association of Home Builders Construction Forecast Conference in Washington, D.C. Rising interest rates, affordability problems and the flight of investors and speculators have contributed to a softening demand for housing, economists said at the conference, according to an announcement by the home builders group. "After topping out in the third quarter of last year, it ...