Industry News

Real estate market to flatten in ’05

Economists predict decline in construction, sales

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Activity in the nation's booming housing industry should hold up at fairly robust levels into 2005, according to the consensus of economists participating in the National Association of Home Builders' Construction Forecast Conference at the National Housing Center in Washington, D.C. The conference, held twice yearly, brings together top experts from across the housing industry to discuss topical issues. Panelists were largely optimistic about prospects for the residential construction industry, economic growth, job growth and inflation as the Federal Reserve continues to gradually push up interest rates and the fiscal stimulus of the Bush Administration's tax cuts begins to fade. High oil prices were identified as the wildcard in the scenario. While hard to predict, energy costs were expected to subside next year from today's record levels after taking a small bite out of economic output and consumer confidence in the short term. "The housing market has been nothing short of phen...