The results are in: 56 percent of Inman News readers who responded to a recent online survey believed the housing boom will be over by the end of next year. Specifically, 12 percent expected the boom will end this summer, 20 percent expected the boom will end this year and 24 percent expect the boom will end next year.

Another 27 percent believes the boom will end “sometime in the distant future” while 9 percent said the boom will “never” end and 8 percent believed it is already over.

Several Realtors in Orange County, Calif., suggested that the local market was overheated, and one said home prices are so high that apartment rents are now a financially attractive alternative for many households.

Realtors in other areas pointed to factors that auger a continued boom: slim inventories, plenty of demand to purchase housing and migrations of buyers from neighborhoods with high house prices to adjacent neighborhoods or nearby communities where house prices are comparatively lower.

All that aside, the idea of a national real estate market is somewhat misleading because real estate always has been and still is a highly localized business where local markets vary wide across the country. Anecdotal evidence and survey respondents’ comments indicated that the pace of sales has slowed in some areas while others continue to register “boom” levels of activity.

“The housing boom nationwide may end someday, but it’s not going to be tomorrow or anytime soon because there is no “national” real estate market. Some areas will continue to boom while the markets in some areas will continue to be depressed,” one respondent observed.

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