Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Low Interest Rates to Keep Housing Healthy. (Business Alert)

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Low Interest Rates to Keep Housing Healthy. (Business Alert)

Article excerpt

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of Realtors (NAR), Washington, D.C., lower-than-projected mortgage interest rates are expected to sustain housing at healthy levels.

"To a great extent, lower interest rates are offsetting the effects of uncertainty over the economy and international events," said David Lereah, NAR's chief economist. NAR forecasts existing-home sales to rise 3.2 percent for all of 2002, to a record of 5.47 million units, followed by a historically strong 5.28 million sales in 2003. "Back in January, we were only expecting 5.25 million existing-home sales in 2002. Although there was a surge of sales activity during the first five months of this year, we've settled down to a very sustainable and historically strong pace for the foreseeable future," said Lereah.

New-home sales are projected to rise 2.2 percent to a record of 929,000 units in 2002, with 907,000 sales in 2003. Housing starts should rise 3.1 percent to a total of 1. …

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