The National Association of Realtors lowered its existing-home-sale projections for 2010 and increased those for 2011 in its latest monthly market forecast, released Thursday.

The association expects sales of resale single-family homes, condos and co-ops to rise 6.5 percent in 2010, down from February’s forecast of 9 percent. NAR expects a 3.8 percent increase in 2011, up from February’s forecast of 0.6 percent. The association also downwardly revised the annual percentage rise of resale home sales in 2009 to 4.9 percent, from 5.7 percent in its February report.

The association adjusted single-family new-home sales to a 22.8 percent decline in 2009, up slightly from an earlier estimate of a 22.6 percent decline. New single-family home sales are projected to sink 12.4 percent in 2010, which compares to an 18.8 percent projected decline in the February forecast. NAR forecasts a 49.4 percent rise in new single-family home sales in 2011, down from its previous forecast for a 42.9 percent rise.

NAR anticipates a 15.4 percent rise in housing starts in 2010 and a 62.1 percent rise in 2011 — that compares to its February forecast for a 21 percent rise in 2010 and a 60.6 percent rise in 2011.

NAR expects existing-home median prices to rise 2.8 percent in 2010 and 4.3 percent in 2011, with the new-home median expected to rise 2 percent in 2010 and 5.2 percent in 2011.

The association adjusted the median home price estimates for 2009 to reflect slightly lower prices for existing homes (to $172,500 from $173,900) and slightly higher prices for new homes (to $214,300 from $213,300). Existing-home-price estimates for 2010 and 2011 are $177,300 and $184,900, respectively.

For new homes, the projections are $218,600 in 2010, and $230,000 in 2011. Estimates for both years are slightly lower than those in February.

The association’s affordability index estimates stayed largely the same month-to-month, rising two points to 153 for 2010, and one point, to 130, in 2011.

Consumer confidence estimates fell somewhat month-to-month. The 2010 estimate fell to 54 from 57 last month and the 2011 estimate fell to 63 from 65 last month’s forecast.

The association expects unemployment this year will be at 10.1 percent compared to 9.3 percent in 2009 and will drop to 9.7 percent in 2011. 

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