Editor's note: The real estate industry is heading for big change in 2005. Experts once again are predicting slower home sales and easing price appreciation due to an anticipated rise in interest rates. In this Inman News forecast series, we attempt to get a clear picture of the industry next year, including what we can expect from housing numbers, who the industry should be watching and what the best and worst-case scenarios might be for housing in 2005. (See Part 1: The interest rate roller coaster ride; Part 3: Worst-case scenario for housing next year; Part 4: What will happen in 2005? Part 5: 15 people to watch in 2005; and Part 6: Inman News Readers 2005 Real Estate Forecast.) A combination of sluggish job growth and an economy that loses a little energy might be the best thing that could happen to the housing industry next year in some experts' opinions. David Lereah, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, believes these factors will keep mortgage rates ...
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