Industry News

Real estate sales down, prices up in ’06

Forecast calls for third-highest annual sales total

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Existing-home sales are expected to drop 6.4 percent this year to 6.62 million, down from a record 7.08 million in 2005, according to the latest annual forecast by the National Association of Realtors trade group. The projected sales total would be the third highest on record. The forecast also calls for new-home sales to drop 11.6 percent to 1.13 million from a record 1.28 million in 2005. Housing starts are expected to fall 5.4 percent to 1.99 million compared to the 2005 total. The national median existing-home price for all housing types is expected to rise 5.7 percent this year to $232,200, while the median new-home price is forecast to increase 2.2 percent to $242,500, the group announced. The Realtor association's sales expectations for the real estate market have lowered since the start of the year. In January the group predicted that existing-home sales would be 4.4 percent lower this year than in 2005, with new-home sales declining 6 percent. The group expected housing star...