Last Monday, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported its August Pending Home Sales index UP 4.3% over the prior month. But this measure of signed contracts on existing homes was down 20.1% compared to a year ago. The NAR’s current economic forecast looks to a 6.4% drop in existing home sales for 2010 compared to 2009, putting the volume at 4.82 million, and the median existing home price UP 0.2%, to $172,900. This is a smaller drop and a greater price rise than previously predicted.

On the new homes front, the NAR projects sales off 13.4% for the year to 325,000, although housing starts will be UP 11.3% while the new home median price will dip 0.4% to $215,000. But the NAR projects new home sales UP a whopping 28.9% for 2011 and 28% in 2012, with the median price UP 2.4% next year and 4.9% the year after that. Finally, the President last week signed a bill that keeps in place today’s higher loan limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guaranteed loans and FHA multifamily programs.

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