What to Expect for Housing in 2014
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The real estate market is in full slumber, as usual during the holiday season, but 2014 is only weeks away.
And next year, the housing market will see some fresh complications that could slow growth when it should be springing back, according to one leading economist.
The National Association of Realtors' 2014 forecast, introduced during the association's 2013 Realtors Conference & Expo, says home sales should "retain the healthy gains" seen so far this year.
Home sales last year and this year have pretty matched mirrored home values, with sales up 20% and home values up 18%.
Lawrence Yun, the NAR's chief economist and historically a "glass-half-full" analyst on housing, isn't sure that growth can continue, though.
He notes that while home sales and home values both show double-digit growth, income levels for people who might buy those increasingly expensive houses have checked in at a much lower rate -- between 2% and 4% in the past two years.
"We've come off of record-high housing affordability conditions in the past year and are now at a five-year low, but conditions are still the fifth-best in the past 40 years," he says. "While the median-income family in many areas will still be well positioned to buy a home in 2014, income is barely budging given growth in consumer prices."