NAR: home prices should recover in 2008

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has released predictions for the coming year of existing home sales, voicing expectations prices will recover in 2008.

The NAR forecast existing home sales will total 6.11 million in 2007, followed by higher sales of 6.37 million in 2008. Those figures both are lower than the 6.48 million existing home sales recorded last year.

New home sales are projected at 865,000 for 2007 and 878,000 in 2008, also a drop from the 1.05 million new home sales recorded last year. Housing starts are expected to remain relatively flat at 1.43 million in 2007 and 1.44 million in 2008, compared with 1.8 million last year.

Existing home prices were forecast to rise 1.8 percent to a median of $222,700 in 2008 compared with $218,800 this year. As for new homes, prices are expected to rise 2.2 percent to $245,400 in 2008 from $240,100 in 2007.

“Buyers now have an overwhelming advantage given the wide selection of homes available in many markets,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.  “But with profit margins coming under pressure, home builders will limit new construction well into 2008.  This should help the overall inventory level to move steadily into a more balanced state.”

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