Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Home-price slump won’t end soon

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Those expecting a rapid economic recovery this year are in for a big letdown, according to an Associated Press survey of 44 prominent economists. Those anxiously watched indicators of our nation's economy -- home values and the unemployment rate -- will stay mostly flat through 2011, the economists said. The AP's new quarterly Economy Survey included private, corporate and academic economists, the news organization said. The economists project home values, which have fallen an average of 30 percent from the market's peak in 2006, will see no gains this year and a 2.3 percent rise next year. Significantly, the economists predicted home values may not start to rise normally (about 4 percent per year since World War II) until the middle of the decade. They anticipate a new wave of foreclosures will dampen prices until then, even though they expect existing-home sales to rise up to 5.4 million this year and 5.9 million next year, the AP said. Lack of home equit...