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by CareyBot

The National Association of Realtors has lowered its expectations for the housing market -- the group's latest 2007 forecast anticipates a 17.8 percent drop in new-home sales, a 19 percent drop in housing starts and a 2.9 percent drop in existing-home sales compared to 2006. "Housing activity this year will be somewhat lower than in earlier forecasts, with clearer analysis of the effects of stricter lending standards and a decline in subprime mortgage origination," the association reported. Also, the latest forecast calls for the median national existing-home price to fall about 1 percent and for the median new-home price to drop about 0.04 percent this year compared to last year. In an earlier forecast in January, the association projected a 1.5 percent rise this year in the national medi...