The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales are likely to total 5.67 million units this year, the fifth highest on record, rising 0.5% to 5.70 million in 2008. The 2008 figure will still be down 12.0% from 6.48 million in 2006. Existing-home prices should be down 1.9% to a median of $217,600 for all of 2007, and then rise 0.3% to $218,300 in 2008.
NAR says the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will rise slowly to the 6.4% range by the end of 2008. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth should be 2.1% in 2007, down from a 2.9% growth rate last year; GDP growth is forecast to improve to 2.4% in 2008.
The unemployment rate is likely to average 4.6% for 2007, unchanged from last year, but rise to 5.0% in 2008. Inflation-adjusted disposable personal income is estimated to grow 3.1% this year, the same as in 2006, and then grow 2.2% next year.