The National Association of Realtors trade group has launched a new Web site, HousingMarketFacts.com, as a part of a public awareness campaign to promote the possible benefits of home ownership and to counter news about the housing market slowdown.

The new Web site promotes the use of Realtors in real estate transactions, includes statistics on housing as a long-term investment, offers links to interest-rate information and Realtor.com features, and features an “equity estimator calculator” that allows site users to enter down-payment information to estimate equity in that home over time, among other features.

In a financial summary in November, the association reported that it had received $42.5 million through September in special assessments related to the group’s Public Awareness Campaign, exceeding the budgeted $39 million.

Advertising for this campaign will be broadcast nationwide from January through November and will air about 10,000 times on national television and radio stations, the trade group reported. The advertising campaign features two new television ads that are focused on buyers and the potential long-term value of home ownership.

In an announcement today promoting the campaign, the association noted that the median price of resale homes has increased about 6 percent per year, on average, with home values nearly doubling every decade.

While home prices generally rise in the long term, short-term pricing can be very cyclical in some markets, with periods of rapid appreciation and decline.

The association expects resale home prices to level this year after a 1.9 percent annual drop in median price in 2007, and to rise 3.1 percent in 2009.

While promoting the local nature of real estate markets, the association stated in the announcement that “some potential home buyers are being kept on the sidelines as they react to national media reports about the housing market.”

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to glenn@inman.com, or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 137.

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