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WASHINGTON – The National Association of Realtors predicts that the 30-year fixed rate mortgage will rise slowly but average only 6.4% next year. In addition, year-end sales forecasts have been revised upward as a result of stronger than expected home sales and higher median prices. Existing-home sales are expected to jump 7.9% to 6.58 million in 2004, well above last year’s record. For 2005, NAR projects 6.38 million sales, which would be the second highest level on record. The national median existing-home price is projected to rise 7.9% to $182,500 for the year with the median new-home price increasing 8.9% to $214,600. New-home sales will rise 8.9% to 1.18 million this year and 1.13 million are forecast for 2005, just shy of the record expected this year.

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