By Ralph Bivins
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The nation’s residential realty market is improving, but it may be two or three years or so until the market is completely healthy again, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.
Existing-home sales are forecast to increase about 1 percent in 2011, and then rise another 4 to 5 percent in 2012, the NAR predicts. For the year, existing home sales will be just under 5 million homes, an improvement over last year, but a far cry from the mid-2000s when annual sales topped 7 million homes.
“The market has been tough,” Yun told reporters at the recent NAR convention in Southern California. “We anticipate recovery next year through 2013 and 2014.”
Home prices are projected to increase on a gradual climb – a 2 percent increase in 2012; a 3 percent price gain in 2013 and a 4 percent increase in 2014. Of course, the price gains will vary from city to city.
The NAR economist is also projecting an increase in builder’s new home sales, from a record low of 320,000 in 2011 to 372,000 new homes in 2012. Yes, that means home building hit bottom this year.
Mortgage rates will continue to remain low, Yun said. Rates for 30-year mortgages, currently around 4 percent, will rise to 4.5 percent in 2012, 4.8 percent in 2013 and up to 5.5 percent in 2014, Yun predicted.
For the full story, see Ralph Bivins’ column and photos on the CultureMap.com web site at: http://houston.culturemap.com/newsdetail/11-21-11-its-no-fantasy-real-estate-is-slowly-recovering/