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Home Sales Expected To Stabilize In The Months Ahead
WASHINGTON (July 11, 2006) - Home sales are projected to ease modestly but should stay within a relatively narrow range over the balance of the year, according to the National Association of Realtors.David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said the market is showing signs of stabilizing. "The major housing indicators have been moving up and down within a reasonable range, which means the market should even-out just below present levels," he said. "At the same time, housing inventory levels are balanced in much of the country, so overall price appreciation will be at a normal rate. We should see home sales rise and fall month to month, but don't look for any big shifts one way or the other."Existing-home sales are expected to decline 6.7 percent to 6.60 million in 2006 from 7.08 million last year. That would still be the third highest level on record. New-home sales should fall 12.8 percent this year to 1.12 million from 1.28 million in 2005. Housing starts are forecast to decline 6.8 percent to 1.93 million this year from 2.07 million in 2005.The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is likely to reach 7.0 percent by the end of the year. "The uptick in interest rates has been ... more
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