Industry News

Home sales stabilizing

NAR: Modest decline seen for rest of 2006

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Home sales are expected to decline modestly throughout the rest of the year as the market continues to show signs of stabilizing, the National Association of Realtors said today. Existing-home sales are expected to decline 6.7 percent to 6.6 million in 2006 from 7.08 million last year, and new-home sales should fall 12.8 percent this year to 1.12 million from 1.28 million in 2005. Housing starts are forecast to decline 6.8 percent to 1.93 million this year from 2.07 million in 2005. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the market is showing signs of stabilizing. "The major housing indicators have been moving up and down within a reasonable range, which means the market should even-out just below present levels," said David Lereah, NAR's chief economist. "At the same time, housing inventory levels are balanced in much of the country, so overall price appreciation will be at a normal rate. We should see home sales rise and fall month to month, but don't look for any big shifts one...