California Association of Realtors economists expect a 23 percent decline in sales of previously owned single-family homes this year, with the median price rising 3.5 percent. In 2008, the median price is expected to drop 4 percent statewide, with sales falling 9 percent compared to 2007. The statewide median price is expected to be $576,000 this year and $553,000 in 2008, according to the trade group's latest housing market forecast released this week. "Tighter credit standards, affordability concerns, and a continued standoff between buyers and sellers will contribute to continued weakness in the market going into next year," said Colleen Badagliacco, association president, in a statement. "Sales could decline more steeply in 2008 if the current liquidity crunch in the mortgage markets has a longer-than-expected duration or if interest rates unexpectedly increase." And Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist and vice president for the association, said in a statement, "Ge...
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