A spurt in home sales in 2009, aided by low interest rates and the first-time homebuyer tax credit, has led some economists to forecast a turnaround in the housing market this year. Other forecasters feel this is too optimistic a projection. Among those who see improvement in the 2010 market is Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Yun hopes that the extension of the first-time homebuyer tax credit will provide a new pool of buyers to absorb the additional foreclosures that will hit the market this year. He expects existing-home sales to rise 13.6 percent in 2010; home prices should go up 3 to 5 percent, with wide geographic differences. The average rate on 30-year fixed mortgages will range from 5.3 percent in the first quarter to 5.8 per...
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