A Year of Repair, Then a Year of Growth

First, the good news : Home sales have stabilized over the last seven months and are expected to increase measurably in the rest of 2008. And the subprime lending crisis is almost past; the balance of this year will be about cleaning up that mess. The bad news is that the current annualized sales pace of about 5 million existing homes is the lowest in 10 years. Luckly, the economy has over 10 milion more jobs than 10 yers ago, so sales should begin to grow later this years and continue into 2009, when sales should climb to 7.71 milllion units. HIgher conforming loan limits at Fannie Mae adn Freddie Mac also are helping. With high-cost limits now at $729,750, intrest rates on formerly jumb0-sized loans are easing. THere are other reasons for optimism, including the home buyer tax credit that’s passed both House and Senate. It would give buyers an incentive to get off the fence.So, eventhough we are not out of the woods yet, by many signs we’ve put the worst behind us.

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