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When will house prices go up again?

That’s the question, worded in various ways, that I’m frequently asked by my neighbors, who happen to know that I write about real estate for a living.

My answer, always the same, is: I have no idea, and neither does anyone else.

There are plenty of forecasts of what may happen to house prices. Up. Down. Flat. U-shaped. V-shaped. L-shaped. Even W-shaped. But personally, I don’t think any of the forecasts are all that reliable.