More than 100 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists project home prices will rise by 3.1% in the new year, up from the forecast of 2.4% in September, according to December 2012 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey.
Home prices are also expected to increase by 4.6% for 2012, which up from the former forecast of 2.3% in September. The panel also reported that home prices are projected to rise by more than 3% annually through 2017.
"An organic recovery in the housing market really took hold in the latter half of 2012, and this improvement is echoed in some of the most optimistic price projections we've seen in years from this group," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.
He added, "Record levels of affordability and an improving overall economic picture have really helped buoy the market and have us well positioned for continued growth, albeit slightly slower, in 2013 and beyond."
For 2013, price change projections range from 4.9% among the most optimistic quartile to 0.8% among the most pessimistic, on average, Zillow said.
The survey is based on the expected path of the Standard &Poor’s/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index for the next five years.
Home prices continued to rise in October with prices up 4.3% annually within the 20-city composite index produced for the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which posted results on Wednesday.