Friday, April 07, 2006

Hot Home Markets to Cool Down in US

According to the latest housing price forecasts from Fiserv Lending Solutions, a provider of mortgage and consumer lending services, Las Vegas real estate will tumble a whopping 8.2 percent in 2006, the largest predicted fall among the 379 metro areas studied.

Fiserv forecasts a significant stagnation in housing prices for the United States in 2006 -- median home prices overall will inch up only 1.5 percent this year. And many metro areas will experience drops, including some of the largest, and most expensive, ones such as New York (down 2.43 percent), Los Angeles (down 3 percent) and Washington (down 1.9 percent).

Phoenix, one of the fastest-growing areas the past couple of years, is another town too hot not to cool down. Fiserv predicts an increase of just 3.3 percent.

Some of the metro areas that have lagged over the past few years, however, may play a bit of catch-up. Fiserv forecasts Houston, where the median home price stands at a modest $145,000, to grow by 6.1 percent. San Antonio (median price is $138,000) should do even better, rising 8.3 percent. Memphis, where prices average $129,000, should see a rise of 7.8 percent.

Some of the recently cooler markets in the Northeast are also expected to be among the winners this year. Rochester, New York, where median homes average only $120,000, should see prices rise 8 percent. Neighboring Syracuse will rise 7.8 percent and Scranton, Pennsylvania will increase 7.6 percent.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) predicted this week: "Canada's home-building industry will slow by 7 1/2 per cent this year and 6 1/2 per cent in 2007"


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