The CBOE Futures Exchange, Chicago, has announced that it plans to launch futures contracts based on median prices in the National Association of Realtors' data on existing-home sales.The exchange said it has created, through a licensing agreement with the NAR, five new futures contracts designed to track median resale prices nationally and in the Northeast, the South, the Midwest, and the West. "With the U.S. housing market valued at nearly $20 trillion, real estate is not only the hottest topic of conversation, it is an asset class unto itself that is arguably one of the most important segments of the U.S. economy," said William J. Brodsky, CBOE's chairman and chief executive officer. "CBOE gave careful consideration to the development of this contract to ensure that it had practical application for hedging as well as speculating, offering a chance to participate in the real estate market to a wide range of investors -- whether your outlook is regional or national, bullish or bearish." The organizations can be found online at http://www.cboe.com/CFE and http://www.realtor.org.

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