NAR: Tax-credit expiration to steal wind from real estate sales

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The National Association of Realtors has lowered expectations for sales of U.S. resale homes in 2010, according to its latest forecast report, released Tuesday -- but sales are still expected to rise this year compared to 2009. Sales of previously owned homes are expected to rise 4.3 percent in 2010, which represents a decline from an earlier forecast of 6.5 percent, released last month April. But NAR upped its expectations for sales of resale homes in 2011: Sales are forecast to grow 5.1 percent in 2011, vs. an earlier forecast for a 3.7 percent increase. NAR also lowered its forecast for home-price increases, which anticipates a 2.5 percent rise this year and a 3.7 percent rise next year in the median resale home price. That compares with expectations for a 2.7 percent increase in 2010 and a 4.3 percent increase in 2011 in NAR's previous forecast. The latest forecast anticipates a 6.9 percent rise in new single-family home sales this year and a 42 percent rise in 2011 (c...