Industry News

2006 real estate forecaster report card

Housing decline steeper than economists' original predictions

Each year, Inman News reports on what the major trade group economists are forecasting for real estate the coming year. Now, we look back at what they told us last year to see how their original predictions played out. Here's a look at what the trade groups thought was in store for 2006, and what each group now projects as the actual results for the year. We also include the experts' forecasts for 2007. National Association of Realtors Last year at this time, NAR chief economist David Lereah was predicting a "modest cooling" in the real estate market in 2006. Like most experts, NAR's top economist didn't anticipate that sales of new and existing homes would decline so steeply in 2006, or that housing starts would be off so dramatically. When all the numbers are in, sales of existing homes are projected to be off 8.6 percent this year, to 6.47 million (which, as NAR is quick to point out, is still the third-best year on record). Looking forward to 2007, Lereah expects existing...