Housing market: a new normal

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A new normal will prevail when the housing market recovers, according to a report released by the Urban Land Institute. "As the economy recovers, markets will stabilize but the old 'normal' will not return. Once nascent trends will emerge as major drivers, creating new markets in new places. Those who fail to understand these new trends will miss opportunities or find themselves building what is no longer in demand," said John K. McIlwain, a senior resident fellow at the institute, in his new research paper, "Housing in America: The Next Decade." McIlwain predicts that, even if unemployment begins to decline, home prices will fall an additional 10 percent this year before stabilizing, foreclosures will rise, and more homeowners will walk away from "underwater" mortgages -- owing more than the house is worth.Consumers will begin to severely question the idea of homeownership as part of the American Dream, as more than 15 percent of households with mortgage...