Can the housing markets match last year's record-setting performance in 1997? A pair of surprising reports last week seemed to suggest so: New home sales jumped 14% in November from October's levels, while resales ticked up 1.8%.

But David Lereah, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington, argues a slowdown is coming. He laid out his 1997 forecast in an interview last week.

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