Realtors increase home-sales forecast for 8th time this year


August 15, 2004

The National Association of Realtors, the U.S. industry's largest trade group, increased its estimate of home sales for the eighth time this year, saying low mortgage rates and an improving economy will spur the housing market.

Sales of existing homes probably will reach 6.45 million, higher than the 6.31 million the Washington group forecast a month ago. New-home sales will total 1.2 million, it said, up from its previous forecast of 1.16 million. That would make this year the best ever for both categories.

The housing market is being boosted by mortgage rates that have remained near record lows even as U.S. economic growth has accelerated, David Lereah, the Realtors' group chief economist, said in a statement. In December, the group estimated 2004 sales would total 5.81 million existing homes and 1.02 million new houses.

The median price for an existing single-family home is likely to gain 7.3 percent this year, the Realtors' group said.

Bloomberg News

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.