David Lereah, NAR’s chief economist, is looking for a steady rise in existing-home sales. “After reaching what appears to be the bottom in the fourth quarter of 2006, we expect existing-home sales to gradually rise all this year and well into 2008,” he said. “New-home sales should continue to slide, but we look for that sector to turn around later in the year. When you put it all together, home sales may appear weak in comparison with the record surge in 2005, but they will be sustained at historically high levels that are in line with long-term demand.”
Existing-home sales, after reaching the third highest total on record, 6.48 million in 2006, are forecast at 6.44 million in 2007 and 6.64 million next year. New-home sales, following a fourth-best 1.06 million in 2006, are projected to decline to 961,000 this year and then rise to 971,000 in 2008.