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US Housing Market Expected to Continue Growth - 2004-01-26


Houses sold at a record pace in the United States in 2003 helped along by economic growth and low interest rates.

Monday's report by the National Association of Realtors says 6.1 million previously-owned homes changed hands during the year.

That's up nearly 10 percent from the prior year.

Home prices rose about 7.5 percent during 2003, the biggest jump in two decades.

Industry experts say they expect the torrid sales pace to slow in 2004, but remain at a healthy rate.

The U.S. central bank, the Federal Reserve, is scheduled to discuss interest rates at a key meeting Wednesday, but most analysts say they do not expect any change in policy.