U.S. home sales will hit a five-year low this year, as wary lenders cut back on loans for many borrowers, a trade group for real estate agents said.
The National Association of Realtors' revised forecast calls for existing home sales of 6.04 million in 2007, down 6.8% from last year. The forecast was 1% lower, or 70,000 fewer homes, than July's prediction of 6.11 million. This year's sales would be the lowest since 2002, when sales hit 5.63 million. Last year's sales were 6.48 million. Next year, NAR expects sales to climb to 6.38 million, up slightly from the forecast it gave in July of 6.37 million.
Median nationwide existing-home prices are expected to fall by 1.2% to a median of US$219,300 this year, before climbing back next year to $223,600. Median new home prices are projected to fall 2.3% to $240,800 this year and then rise to $246,300 in 2008.