Stronger than expected home sales and higher median prices have caused the National Association of Realtors to revise upward its year-end forecast. Existing-home sales are expected to jump 7.9 percent to 6.58 million in 2004, which tops last year's record, the association reported today. For 2005, the association projects 6.38 million sales, which would be the second-highest level on record. The national median existing-home price is projected to rise 7.9 percent to $182,500 for the year. The median new-home price should increase 8.9 percent to $214,600. New-home sales will rise 8.9 percent to 1.18 million this year and 1.13 million are forecast for 2005, just shy of the record expected this year. Housing starts are seen at 1.95 million this year, the highest level since 1978; housing construction is projected at 1.87 million units in 2005. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said that some of the backup in housing demand is being met. "We're setting our fourth consecutiv...
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