All of June's housing statistics are in, and there is no sign yet of the slowdown that economists have predicted for months.

New-home sales jumped almost 4% from May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 935,000 units.

Home building also was up; the seasonally adjusted annual pace of housing starts hit 1.62 million, a gain of almost 6% from May.

Existing-home sales dipped slightly, though their annual pace-4.72 million in June-is considered very strong.

"The housing market continues to boom," said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Regional Financial Associates, a West Chester, Pa., consulting firm. He said all the ingredients for strong sales remain in place: low interest rates, confident consumers, a bullish stock market, plentiful jobs, and no shortage of mortgage money.

He now predicts sales will not slow until yearend.

"The Asian crisis has helped to extend the housing boom for six to 12 months through lower rates," he said.

Forecasts of slowing home sales this year had assumed that interest rates would edge upward. But with Asian economies faltering, investors have fled those markets for the safety of U.S. Treasury bonds, pushing long-term interest rates down.

A reduction in U.S. growth and U.S. exports to Asia has also contributed to low interest rates domestically.

David Lereah, the chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, said its weekly index of mortgage applications, a leading indicator of home sales, has been high for months.

The index suggests that home sales remained strong in July, he said.

When sales and building eventually decline, the drop will be all the sharper, Mr. Lereah said. He said he was telling lenders to expect double- digit decreases in home sales and construction next year.

The MBA predicts housing starts will fall about 10% next year, from an expected 1.52 million units to 1.37 million.

Existing-home sales, which are expected to hit a record 4.58 million, will fall by more than 10%, to 4.1 million, Mr. Lereah predicts.

And new sales are forecast at 739,000, 13% below the 850,000 expected for this year.

But even such reduced activity would not constitute a housing recession, the trade group economist said.

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