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After bottoming in the fourth quarter of 2006, existing-home sales are forecast to gradually rise through 2007 and into 2008, while new-home sales should turnaround by summer, according to the latest forecast by the National Association of Realtors.

-NAR Press release

That's the drug-addled ravings most recently unveiled by the tripheads at the National Association of Realtors. At a recent rave, David Lereah was heard to say: "Dude, look at the trails - and the colors! Awesome!" He then giggled and wandered off, muttering to himself about New Home cancellation rates.

The rest of the NAR release amounted to a thinly veiled cry for help, revealing deep problems with either alcohol abuse or dementia. In a related development, several NAR economists were treated for blunt head trauma, a medical condition which helps explain the rest of their recent public statements.

According to the NAR:

  • Existing-home sales for 2006 are expected to come in at 6.50 million; Existing-home sales are forecast to total 6.42 million in 2007;
  • Total housing starts for 2006 are likely to be 1.81 million units; Total starts for 2007 are forecast to be 1.51 million; This is a drop of 16.6%, to the lowest level in a decade;
  • Median existing-home price for all of 2006 is expected to rise 1.1% to $222,100; for 2007, NAR forecasts a gain of 1.5% to $225,300.
  • Median new-home price rose only 0.3% to $241,600 in 2006; NAR projects it to grow 3.0% in 2007 to $248,900.
  • Annual totals for existing-home sales will be fairly comparable between 2006 and 2007
  • Note that some people who were not in the throes of a hallucinatory experience disagreed with the NAR assessment: Mortgage Bankers Association chief economist Doug Duncan said "Some markets could see price declines of 10% to 20% this year, a shift from the last four to five years, when there were almost no markets where prices were declining." Further, the sober Mr. Duncan forecasts that "Home sales will decline 7% to 8% this year, with most of the decline in the first half."

    Sources:

    Gradual Rise Projected for Home Sales
    National Association of Realtors
    Realtor.com, WASHINGTON, January 10, 2007
    http://tinyurl.com/yeto3d

    Home Prices Seen Rising in '07
    CAMPION WALSH
    WSJ, January 11, 2007; Page D2
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB116848119665773314.html

    Source: Latest NAR Rave: Home Prices Seen Rising in '07