Bankers association raises its forecast for home sales, loans

REAL ESTATE WATCH

April 18, 2004|By Bloomberg News

The Mortgage Bankers Association has raised its forecasts for this year's lending volume and home sales as interest rates remain near historic lows.

Lending should rise to $2.57 trillion this year, making it the third-best on record, and sales of new and existing single-family homes should climb to 7.09 million, second to last year's 7.19 million, Doug Duncan, the Washington-based group's chief economist, said last week. A month ago, the bankers association projected $2.49 trillion in lending and 6.95 million home sales.

The estimate for sales of new homes was raised to 1.095 million from last month's 1.053 million. That would top last year's 1.087 million. Sales of existing homes were forecast at 6 million, up from last month's 5.89 million. That would be second only to last year's 6.1 million.

The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage is expected to average 5.6 percent this year.

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