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Friday, September 08, 2006


National Realtor Outlook 'Least Optimistic Yet'

More today on the housing market's decline in a staff story in the The New York Times and a Reuters story in the
Los Angeles Times. From The NYT:
The latest report to predict a decline in the housing sector was notable for its source. The assessment from the National Association of Realtors, which has until recently been generally upbeat about the health of housing, was the group’s least optimistic yet.

“The boom is cooling now,” said David Lereah, the chief economist for the association, who added that falling home sales have been “a bit worse than we had anticipated.”

The group said that it now expected sales to fall further than it has said in the past — about 7.5 percent this year compared with an earlier projection of a 5 percent decline. It also said it expected prices nationwide to drop during the next few months, instead of appreciating modestly. If that happens, it would be the first time since 1993 that median home prices have fallen in any given month.

The revised realtors’ forecast came on the heels of announcements from KB Home and Beazer, two of the nation’s largest home builders, that profits this year would be lower than initially predicted.

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