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Report sees growth in pre-owned home sales

PMI forecast: Distressed properties drive post-Q1 rebound

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Analysts at PMI Mortgage Insurance Co. think sales of existing homes probably hit bottom in the first three months of the year, and are projecting sales will increase every quarter for the remainder of this year and next. Increased sales of foreclosed and distressed properties will push sales of existing homes from an annual rate of 4.6 million homes during the first quarter -- the worst quarter so far in the current downturn -- to an annual pace of 5.2 million during the last three months of the year, PMI projects. PMI's latest monthly analysis of economic, housing and mortgage market conditions projects 4.89 million existing homes will change hands this year, just shy of the 4.91 million transactions seen in 2008. PMI projects sales of existing homes will continue to rebound in 2010 as economic conditions improve, reaching 5.37 million. Although PMI doesn't see the unemployment rate peaking until the first half of next year, at around 9.5 percent, recovery of job markets...