CAR 2009 Forecast: Home Prices Down, Sales Up

October 15, 2008 No Comments »

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The California Association of Realtors released its 2009 housing forecast today, projecting a mild (relatively) home price decline and bottoming out as sales pick up.

The group currently estimates that the median price for a single-family home will fall 31.7 percent to $381,000 from $558,100 last year, while this year’s sales are expected to rise 12 percent from 2007 levels.

In 2009, the median price is expected to fall a further six percent to $358,000, with sales due to rise 12.5 percent from depressed 2008 levels.

“The next couple of quarters in late 2008 and early 2009 will be marked by seasonal decreases in activity, with a pickup expected by the second quarter of next year,” said C.A.R. Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young, in a statement.

“The median price will be influenced through the balance of 2008 by the typical seasonal decrease in home prices as well as ongoing downward pressure from distressed sales,” she added.

Back in 2003, the median price was $372,700, so much of the gains seen over the past five years will be all but wiped out, firmly placing those who bought at the height of the boom underwater.

CAR expects 445,000 single-family home resales in 2009, up from about 396,000 this year, but nowhere near the bonanza days of 2003-2005, where sales exceeded 600,000 units annually.

The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is set to rise from 5.9 percent this year to 6.2 percent next year, while the one-year ARM is slated to climb 10 basis points to 5.3 percent.

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