Housing double dip could be coming: MacroMarkets

A double-dip in housing could arrive this year with national home prices only 1% away from a new “post-crash low,” MacroMarkets said in its March 2011 Home Price Expectation Survey. MacroMarkets compiled the report by gathering the opinions of more than 100 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists. “Overall, the sentiment among our expert panel regarding the U.S. housing market outlook, continues to deteriorate, ” said Robert Shiller, co-founder of MacroMarkets. “Now they are expecting only a weak recovery, and even that is not until 2013.” Shiller said only a few of the respondents expect to see a real home price recovery by 2015. Beyond those few, the majority are bearish on the next few years.  Half of those interviewed expect to see a double-dip in housing this year as legal issues stall the foreclosure process. Not to mention the pressure the housing sector is receiving from unemployment, tighter credit guidelines and rising home inventories that push out new home sales, the report said. Analysts and housing experts interviewed for the survey varied on just how much they expect home prices to decline in the fourth quarter of this year. The sliding scale of predictions runs the gamut, from Dean Baker,  co-director at Center for Economic & Police Research, predicting an 11% decline year-over-year in home prices in the fourth quarter of 2011 to National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicting prices will remain flat year-over-year in 4Q. Other analysts include Chris Whalen with Institutional Risk Analytics, who expects prices will drop 10% year-over-year in the fourth quarter and IHS Global Insight chief economist Nariman Behravesh, who is predicting a 6.70% drop. Write to Kerri Panchuk. The table above summarizes the panel’s March projections for home prices for the coming 5 years.

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