NAR: Speculators have left the building

National Associatoin of Realtors Senior Economist Lawrence Yun isn’t exactly upbeat, but he is, predictably, more sanguine about the fundamentals of the US housing market than many observers.

“Mortgage disruptions will hold back sales over the short term, but long-term fundamentals are favorable,” Yun said in a statement released today. “A modest upturn is projected for existing-home sales toward the end of the year, with broader improvement to include the new-home market by the middle of 2008.”

The NAR is forecasting 6.04 million existing-home sales in 2007 and 6.38 million next year, both numbers below the 6.48 million recorded in 2006.

“More buyers, and cutbacks in new construction, will eventually draw down the inventory levels and support future price appreciation, but general gains will be modest next year,” Yun said. “Serious buyers today have a long-term view of housing as an investment – speculators have left the market.”

You can see the NAR’s current forecast in this table (PDF).

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