Construction, sales projected to remain high

Real Estate Watch

November 01, 1998

Home sales and construction should not be affected despite an expected slower economy in 1999, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The NAR is projecting 4.39 million existing-home sales in 1999, second only to the expected record of 4.75 million this year. The new-home market is also expected to do well. NAR is projecting the 831,000 units will be sold in 1999, slightly down from the record 881,000 units expected to be sold this year.

While housing starts are expected to be at the highest level for housing construction since 1987 (1.6 million units), NAR expects them to be down slightly next year, at about 1.52 million.

A slight economic rebound in the fourth quarter is forecast before a general slowing next year.

"With the turmoil on Wall Street, people see real property as a safe investment," said Fred Flick, NAR vice president of economic research. "Amid falling mortgage rates, low unemployment and relatively high consumer confidence, potential buyers are still finding it to be an excellent time to jump into the housing market."

Pub Date: 11/01/98

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