All Major Housing Indicators Expected to Rise, NAR

Apr 10, 2001, 01:00 ET from National Association of Realtors

    WASHINGTON, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Boosted by a sustained decline in
 mortgage interest rates, all of the major housing indicators are expected to
 increase this year, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R).
     Dr. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, expects the 30-year fixed
 mortgage interest rate to average 6.9 percent this year, down from 8.1 percent
 in 2000.  "With interest rates near 30-year lows and historically low
 unemployment, we now expect both new and existing-home sales, along with
 housing construction, to increase during 2001," he said.  "In other words,
 people with good jobs are looking at very good housing affordability
 conditions in most of the country -- they're getting into the market and are
 helping to stimulate economic growth," he added.
     While there are weaknesses in other sectors of the economy, Lereah
 projects existing-home sales to rise 1.6 percent this year to a total of 5.19
 million units, while new-home sales should rise 2.0 percent to a total of
 921,000 units.  "This means we now expect 2001 to be the second-best year on
 record for existing-home sales, and it'll set a record for new-home sales," he
 said.  NAR expects housing starts to rise 1.8 percent to a total of 1.62
 million units this year, matching a construction pace not seen since 1987.
     NAR forecasts the national median existing-home price for 2001 to be
 $144,600, an increase of 4.0 percent over last year, while typical new home
 price is expected to be $173,900 this year, up 4.6 percent from 2000.
     NAR expects U.S. economic growth, as measured by the Gross Domestic
 Product (GDP), to be 1.9 percent for 2001, rising from a 0.5 percent growth
 rate in the first quarter to 3.6 percent by the end of the year.  Consumer
 price inflation for this year will be 3.1 percent.
     The association forecasts the unemployment rate to average 4.4 percent
 this year, while inflation-adjusted disposable personal income should grow
 about 2.1 percent in 2001.
 
     The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R), "The Voice for Real Estate," is
 America's largest trade association, representing more than 760,000 members
 involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate
 industries.
 
     Information about NAR is available at http://nar.realtor.com . This and
 other news releases are posted in the Web site's "News for You" section, at
 http://nar.realtor.com/news .  Additional statistical data may be found at
 http://nar.realtor.com/databank/sales.htm .
 
 

SOURCE National Association of Realtors
    WASHINGTON, April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Boosted by a sustained decline in
 mortgage interest rates, all of the major housing indicators are expected to
 increase this year, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R).
     Dr. David Lereah, NAR's chief economist, expects the 30-year fixed
 mortgage interest rate to average 6.9 percent this year, down from 8.1 percent
 in 2000.  "With interest rates near 30-year lows and historically low
 unemployment, we now expect both new and existing-home sales, along with
 housing construction, to increase during 2001," he said.  "In other words,
 people with good jobs are looking at very good housing affordability
 conditions in most of the country -- they're getting into the market and are
 helping to stimulate economic growth," he added.
     While there are weaknesses in other sectors of the economy, Lereah
 projects existing-home sales to rise 1.6 percent this year to a total of 5.19
 million units, while new-home sales should rise 2.0 percent to a total of
 921,000 units.  "This means we now expect 2001 to be the second-best year on
 record for existing-home sales, and it'll set a record for new-home sales," he
 said.  NAR expects housing starts to rise 1.8 percent to a total of 1.62
 million units this year, matching a construction pace not seen since 1987.
     NAR forecasts the national median existing-home price for 2001 to be
 $144,600, an increase of 4.0 percent over last year, while typical new home
 price is expected to be $173,900 this year, up 4.6 percent from 2000.
     NAR expects U.S. economic growth, as measured by the Gross Domestic
 Product (GDP), to be 1.9 percent for 2001, rising from a 0.5 percent growth
 rate in the first quarter to 3.6 percent by the end of the year.  Consumer
 price inflation for this year will be 3.1 percent.
     The association forecasts the unemployment rate to average 4.4 percent
 this year, while inflation-adjusted disposable personal income should grow
 about 2.1 percent in 2001.
 
     The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS(R), "The Voice for Real Estate," is
 America's largest trade association, representing more than 760,000 members
 involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate
 industries.
 
     Information about NAR is available at http://nar.realtor.com . This and
 other news releases are posted in the Web site's "News for You" section, at
 http://nar.realtor.com/news .  Additional statistical data may be found at
 http://nar.realtor.com/databank/sales.htm .
 
 SOURCE  National Association of Realtors

RELATED LINKS

http://www.realtor.com