U.S. Housing Will 'Easily' Set Sales Records

Appliance makers, home furnishings producers and building materials manufacturers take note: Although home sales will likely come down from record heights during the next several months, both new and existing home sales are expected to "easily" set annual records in 2005, says the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors (NAR). It forecasts 6.98 million existing home sales this year and 1.26 million new-home sales.

"The housing market is probably close to a peak right now in terms of sales activity, but there is a tremendous momentum," says David Lereah, NAR's chief economist. "Sales are expected to coast at historically high levels into next year, but they will trend slightly downward."

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