U.S Investment?? Prices May Have Finally Hit the Bottom

A significant majority of the 108 economists and experts participating in MacroMarkets’ June Price Home Expectations panelists believe that the bottom for home prices arrived in the first quarter or will arrive sometime before year-end.

Despite persistent macroeconomic uncertainty and unprecedented housing market dysfunction, almost two-thirds of the panelists see the U.S. residential real estate market as at an historic turning point, said Robert Shiller, MacroMarkets co-founder and chief economist.

However, expectations for the pace of recovery fell.  The group of 69 panelists who are currently forecasting a 2011 turning point predict less than two percent average annual growth in nominal home prices over the five-year period ending December 2015. The average expected cumulative home price change between Q4 2010 and Q4 2015 is just 5.71 percent, $1.2 trillion less in aggregate U.S. single-family housing wealth at the end of 2015 than projected just six months ago.

Terry Loebs, MacroMarkets managing director, confirmed that a wide variety of individual views continue to be expressed by the panel. Loebs said, “Looking at expected housing market performance through the five year period ending 2015, the most optimistic quartile of panelists projects 15.3 percent average price growth, while the most pessimistic quartile of panelists projects 6.0 price average price erosion from Q4 2010 levels. This spread is huge, representing almost $4 trillion in housing market value. This is a gut wrenching time for market stakeholders and policymakers, because each of these scenarios is plausible.”

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