LinkedIn reports Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors (NAR), projects previously-occupied homes sales will slowly rise through 2012. Yun says the rising path will be uneven. Speaking at the Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, he says, “If we just hold at the first-quarter sales pace of 5.1 million, sales this year would rise 4 percent, but the remainder of the year looks better. We expect 5.3 million existing-home sales this year, up from 4.9 million in 2010, with additional gains in 2012 to about 5.6 million – that’s a sustainable level given the size of our population.” Yun asserts that housing starts will gradually increase to 908,000 in 2012, up from 603,000 this year. New home sales will be at a record low of 302,000 this year and will rise to 487,000 in 2012. He notes the cost of a new home averages $53,000 more than an existing one, and that will slow the new home market recovery. Yun also forecasts rising residential rents will make home buying more affordable, and that will help drive home sales.
(image courtesy of NAR)