Industry News

Weather, subprime woes ‘dampen’ real estate forecast

Realtor group projects dip in home sales in '07

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The latest National Association of Realtors housing market forecast projects 6.42 million existing-home sales this year and 950,000 new-home sales, a dip compared to 6.48 million existing-home sales and 1.06 million new-home sales last year. And despite problems in the subprime lending market and erratic weather patterns, the association expects a housing market recovery this year, according to the trade group's forecast. "Lending problems in our nation's subprime marketplace are building, which could inhibit future housing activity and further dampen our forecast. Even so, these problems are likely to be contained and not spill over into the prime mortgage market," said David Lereah, NAR chief economist, in a statement. "Underlying trends point to a housing recovery in 2007, but it will take a couple months for us to get a better handle on it. Existing-home sales are expected to slowly improve from what appears to be the cyclical low last fall, but we think there will be some addition...