Real Estate 11 Dec 2006 04:14 pm

Realtors See Life in Housing Market

by Sean Hackbarth

House on fire

The soft housing market hasn’t gone up in flames. There’s some life in it, at least for those homes already built:

Existing-home sales should perk up in late 2007, but new-home sales will continue their slide next year, the National Association of Realtors predicted Monday.

By the fourth quarter of 2007, existing-home sales will be 4.6% higher than in the fourth quarter of 2006, predicted David Lereah, the group’s chief economist. That forecast rise in sales applies to the fourth quarters of the two years, not to full year-over-year figures.

In 2007, existing-home sales will reach an annual total of 6.40 million, 1% lower than the 6.47 million projected to be sold in 2006, according to the association.

At the same time, more air is expected to come out of the new-home-sales bubble, the group said. Sales of new homes are expected to drop 9.4% from their 2006 level, to 957,000, the Realtors predicted.

Meanwhile, home prices will make modest gains in the year ahead, the group said.

Whether it was the Fed playing with interest rates or natural market forces we seem to have survived the housing bubble in fairly good shape.

UPDATE: David Bernstein, looking for a home in the Washington, D.C. area wonders if “prices, at least in the D.C. area, are near a nominal bottom?” But if you read The Housing Bubble Blog there’s plenty of stories about the market adjusting–painfully at times.

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One Response to “Realtors See Life in Housing Market”

  1. on 11 Dec 2006 at 7:57 pm 1.TAM Money and Finance » Housing Market Bottom: Not So Fast Says Analyst said …

    [...] Barry Ritholtz, Chief Market Strategist for Ritholtz Research, isn’t convinced the housing market is anywhere near a bottom. He calls the National Association of Realtors’ assessment “wishful thinking.” Ritholtz’s biggest concern is all that inventory. He writes, “A significant decrease in inventory, plus motivated sellers, would go a long way to seeing a bottom form.” [...]

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