AgentMarkets & Economy

Economists don’t agree on real estate recovery

In some areas, home prices could fall another 10%

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It wasn't long ago that some economic forecasters anticipated a turnaround in the home-sale market by 2012. When the economic recovery stalled and the housing market showed no sign of turning around quickly, projections for a housing recovery were pushed out two, three and even seven years. Ken Rosen, chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, believes that home prices have bottomed and are increasing in areas powered by strong job growth. However, even in places where prices are rising, they are not rebounding. Not all economists agree that home prices have hit bottom; many anticipate another 5 percent price decline over the next two years. Rosen gives a 65 percent probability that the recovery will be choppy. He forecasts a 5 percent chance of a strong recovery and a 30 percent chance of a double-dip recession. Factors holding a recovery back: a general sense of uncertainty that undermines consumer confiden...