Industry News

Existing-home sales expected to fall 6.5%

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Existing-home sales are forecast to fall 6.5 percent this year to 6.61 million, which is the third-highest year on record after 2005 and 2004, the National Association of Realtors reported today in its latest annual forecast. New-home sales are projected to drop 12.8 percent in 2006 to 1.12 million, also the third best on record. Housing starts are expected to drop 9.1 percent this year to 1.88 million. The national median existing-home price for all housing types is forecast to grow 4.3 percent this year to $229,000, while the median new-home price is expected to rise 0.5 percent to $242,100 as builders offer incentives to clear unsold inventory, according to the trade group's forecast. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said in a statement, "We've seen a minor easing in closed transactions of existing-home sales, and a slight increase in the leading indicator of pending sales based on contracts. New-home sales and housing starts have been fluctuating, so the overall mark...