Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Whoa! The National Association of Realtors Actually Reports A Bummer?

Chicago Tribune: Realtor group predicts sales dip
reported on Dealbreaker's Morning Bell
NEW YORK -- The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday that it is lowering its expectations for the housing market this year to reflect stricter lending standards and the decline in mortgage originations to borrowers with poor credit.The association said it expects existing-home sales of 6.29 million in 2007, lower than sales of 6.48 million in 2006, though it forecast a rebound to 6.49 million in 2008. The median price for existing homes is forecast to dip 1 percent this year, to $219,800, but to rise 1.4 percent in 2008. The median price for a previously owned home has not declined since the real estate group's records began in 1968.The group anticipates new-home sales of 864,000 in 2007 and 936,000 next year, down from 1.05 million last year. The median new-home sales price is forecast to remain unchanged at $246,400 in 2007 and then gain 2.2 percent next year.Housing starts also will drop, the group predicts, to 1.46 million units this year from 1.80 million in 2006.

It's a watershed for an era when you see the National Association of Realtors issue a press release that isn't all candy canes and rainbows. But fear not, there is some positive spin in there:

Lawrence Yun, the association's senior economist, said speculative buyers, who pushed home prices up to record highs in the past five years, have left the market, which is a boon to traditional home buyers looking for lower prices.

So there, it is still a FANTASTIC time to buy a house!

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