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the bottom is near for the housing market, which is why there has been increased activity

"There is a sense that the bottom is near for the housing market, which is why there has been increased activity," said Celia Chen, a senior director at Moody's Analytics specializing in housing economics. "The biggest decline is over," she said. "But we're still expecting prices to decline by another 5 percent."

The overall economy will determine to some extent whether the increase seen in the spring can be sustained. "A lot of what happens in June is going to depend on employment trends," said Sam Chandan, the chief economist at Real Capital Analytics, a Manhattan company that studies worldwide real estate trends. "There's a fair amount to give consumers pause." He noted that while the national unemployment rate fell slightly in May, the financial industry in New York City continued to lose jobs.

Mortgage rates are likely to remain low, Ms. Chen said, but foreclosures nationally are expected to increase in coming months. Manhattan's foreclosure rate has remained very low, thanks to rigorous co-op approval standards, but "there still will be softness in prices, because there seems to be a pretty large overhang of new construction still out there," she said.

Spring Real Estate Market Roars In but Tiptoes Out Early
Published: June 10, 2010
Although many brokers are telling clients that prices have already hit bottom, some experts said they were still falling and would drop 5 percent to 15 percent more by the end of next year.


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