Stricter lending standards and a decline in a subprime mortgage originations have contributed to somewhat lowered expectations for existing home sales in NAR's latest housing market outlook, compared with its earlier forecasts.
- Existing-home sales are likely to total 6.29 million this year and 6.49 million in 2008, compared with 6.48 million last year.
- New-home sales, projected at 864,000 in 2007 and 936,000 next year, will be lower than the 1.05 million recorded in 2006.
- Housing starts should total 1.46 million units this year and 1.52 million in 2008, down from 1.80 million last year.
- The national median existing-home price is forecast to slip 1% to $219,800 this year, and then rise 1.4% in 2008. The median new-home price is expected to be essentially unchanged at $246,400 in 2007, and then rise 2.2% next year. "If it weren't for a favorable economic backdrop, housing would probably have a hard landing," says NAR Senior Economist Lawrence Yun. "As it is, we see this as a soft landing with home sales rising gradually in the second half of the year and prices recovering a bit later."