Industry News

Best-case scenario for housing next year

Part 1: 2006 real estate forecast

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"Moderation in all things." -- Aristotle As John and Jane Doe Home Buyer enter the year 2006, driving their Ford Focus down Main Street, they see a moderate number of townspeople buying lunch boxes and new work clothes, signifying modest job growth. As they pass a local bank, the automated ticker display registers interest rates at 6 percent. Best of all, flyers in the window of the local real estate brokerage show house prices reflecting modest appreciation. At least, that's the best-case scenario for 2006 predicted by experts consulted by Inman News. Not only that, many of them said they believed this scenario was likely. "A situation where the U.S. economy continues the modest job growth it has produced over the last year is the best-case scenario," said Mark Dotzour, chief economist at Texas A&M University's Real Estate Center. "Modest job growth creates underlying demand for housing and very little threat in the way of inflation," the economist said. "That's what keeps intere...