Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Forecasters’ expectations for 2012 subdued

Underwater borrowers, glut of REOs weighing down recovery

Assume that the European debt crisis doesn't derail a global economic recovery in 2012 and the U.S. continues on a modest growth path next year. The question for those earning a living as real estate brokers and agents then becomes whether that little ray of sunshine will firm home prices and boost sales.According to many analysts, the answer is: Don't get your hopes up, at least not until 2013. While some forecasters see a turnaround beginning next year, more think home prices and sales won't begin to climb back toward their historical trendlines in earnest until 2013.Local housing markets may thrive or falter regardless of what's happening at the national level. But at the macro level, there are two factors weighing on home prices and sales -- one on the demand side of the equation, the other on the supply side -- that may only ease with the passage of time.On the demand side, mortgage analytics provider CoreLogic estimates 13 million homeowners have little or no equity in their home...

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