The future of housing sales and prices

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 at 05:15 PM

Literally no comment required to this Rueters snippet from the NY Tiimes:

Home sales are likely to decline again next year, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday.

Sales of existing homes are expected to decline 8.6 percent, to 6.47 million, for 2006, and shrink another 1 percent, to 6.40 million units, next year. Sales of new homes should fall a sharp 17.7 percent this year and another 9.4 percent next year, the association said.

Still, the housing sector should see a rebound by the end of next year, said David A. Lereah, the association's chief economist.

"By the fourth quarter of 2007, existing-home sales will be 4.6 percent higher than the current quarter," Mr. Lereah said, adding that about three-quarters of the country will see a sluggish expansion of existing-home sales next year.

In the last three months of 2005, homes were appreciating at a 12 percent rate, according to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. From July to September this year, home price appreciation had slowed to a 3.5 percent rate.