Industry News

Real estate sales forecast to drop this year

Median existing-home price expected to rise 5.8%

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The National Association of Realtors trade group has lowered its expectations for existing-home sales in 2006, according to an announcement today. Existing-home sales are expected to drop 5.7 percent this year compared to 2005, with a forecast of 6.67 million existing-home sales this year compared to a record 7.08 million existing-home sales last year. Meanwhile, the association has improved its forecast for new-home sales and housing starts since the previous forecast in February, though these categories are also projected to be lower this year than they were in 2006. New-home sales are forecast to fall 7.7 percent this year to 1.18 million from a record 1.28 million in 2005, the association reported, and housing starts are forecast to fall 4.3 percent this year to 1.98 million. In February, the association forecast 1.17 new-home sales and 1.87 million housing starts for the year. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement, "The cooling from overheated sales conditions...