National Association of Realtors® (NAR) predicts record home sales
"Greater than expected sales of existing homes in the first seven months of the year will help set a record for annual existing-home sales in 2004, according to the National Association of Realtors®."
With regard to new home sales, the NAR predicts "New-home sales also are expected to rise to a record level this year, to 1.16 million, up 7.1 percent. Housing starts are forecast to increase 4.8 percent to 1.94 million in 2004, the strongest pace since 1978 when baby boomers were entering the market en masse."
"David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, said a continued decline in mortgage interest rates is creating favorable market conditions at a time when household formation is rising. Though NAR projects the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to slowly rise to 6.0 percent in the fourth quarter, the average rate for the entire year should be 5.9 percent, the second-lowest annual average since the mid 1960s. The lowest rate in recent years was 5.8 percent in 2003."
"Price appreciation is projected to be only slightly higher than historic norms next year, as supply levels come closer to market demand. Although we expect the number of home buyers to continue to exceed the number of sellers, the situation should improve in 2005," Lereah said."
To read the online news release, go here.