Tuesday, December 11, 2007

As The Year Ends

2007 is drawing to its end, and between holiday shopping and baking cookies, some are trying to analyze the housing market trends and forecast its future behavior. While predictions range from mildly gloomy to disastrous, the NAR produced an amusingly optimistic home sales forecast for 2008. After reducing their home sales forecasts for 9 straight months, they now revised their 2007 forecast upwards, to 5.67 million from 5.66 million. Chief economist Lawrence Yun said an optimistic job market report and the government’s help for troubled homeowners influenced the improved outlook. The group believes home sales will rise to 5.7 million in 2008. A Global Insight economist forecasts 4.7 million home sales in 2008.

Merrill Lynch predicts a gloomy 2008 for the U.S. economy with high energy prices, weak employment, tight credit and falling home prices. And by the way, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are introducing tougher requirements for mortgages they securitize.

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