Editor's note: Forget the housing experts who've made our heads spin with real estate market forecasts. It's time for a fresh set of eyes and a new set of skills to tell us whether this housing market is going to bust. In this three-part series, we sought out some alternative sources for predicting the housing market. We opted for a deck of tarot cards, the Taoist zodiac and a consumer focus group. (See Part 2: Is it my time to buy? and Part 3: The people's forecast.) Past the rows of herb-filled jars and votive candles, beyond the counter displays of crystals and stones and skeletal charms, is an ornate, lamp-lit reading room where the possible fate of the nation's housing market was revealed this week. Academics, think tanks, industry associations, experts and non-experts alike have attempted to predict the future course of events for the housing market – which is marked by an unprecedented, sustained surge in home-buying activity and price appreciation. Theories of booms...
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