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Lost jobs delay real estate revival

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Editor's note: Inman News is seeking input for our Roadmap to Recovery editorial project, which focuses on the future of the real estate industry. This article features responses by industry veteran Patrick F. Stone to a set of forward-thinking questions. You can view this list of questions at: Inman.com/Reinventing -- if we publish your responses you win a free pass to the upcoming Real Estate Connect conference (for new registrants only). The following is an Inman News Q&A with Patrick F. Stone, chairman of The Stone Group: Q: Will the housing market contract or expand in 2009? A: Existing-home sales will probably decline, or at best be near 2008 levels. New-home sales will remain morbid, in the 600,000-to-800,000 range. Sales of bank-owned (REO) homes will accelerate dramatically, as funds, investor groups and individuals purchase pools and properties at extreme discounts to current market values. The agencies, and large lenders, realize that disposing of REO propertie...