Industry News

Real estate sales on record pace this year

But housing market is expected to slow in 2006

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Home sales are expected to set a new record this year, but rising interest rates should put a damper on sales in 2006, the National Association of Realtors reported today in its latest housing and economic forecast. Median existing-home prices are expected to increase 12.5 percent this year to $208,400 while sales grow 4.2 percent, the association reported. "The forecast for home sales has trended up as the year progressed, fueled lately by added demand resulting from the impact of recent hurricanes." David Lereah, the association's chief economist, said by June it was apparent that homes sales would likely set a new record. "Post-Katrina, our sales projections for this year have moved even higher," Lereah said. "Short-term momentum is very strong, and our Pending Home Sales Index just set a record. In addition to the housing needs of hurricane victims, we may be seeing some 'fence-jumping' from home buyers who are getting into the market before interests rates move higher." New-home ...