The National Association of Realtors’ prognosis for 2007 and 2008 home sales is a little more optimistic.
The NAR revised monthly forecast calls for existing home sales to fall 12.5 percent this year to 5.67 million. Last month, the association predicted 5.66 million existing homes would be sold this year.
Still, the revised figure would be the lowest level since 2002.
The Realtors’ group forecasts that sales will rise slightly in 2008 to 5.7 million, up from last month’s prediction of 5.69 million.
NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said job growth and the replacement of subprime lenders to borrowers with weak credit with government-backed loans are reasons for the improved outlook.
NAR officials also said the median price for U.S. existing homes – the point at which half sold for more and half for less – will sink by 1.9 percent to $217,600 this year and rise 0.3 percent next year to $218,300.