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House prices to spike again?

Unmet demand could spark 'hockey stick' recovery

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Home prices could stay flat for an extended period before shooting up in a "hockey stick" recovery if builders can't meet pent-up demand once excess inventories are depleted, according to some analysts."Don't get caught up in the numbers" to reveal signs of a recovery in your market, said Elliott Pollack, a Phoenix-based real estate investor and CEO of Elliott D. Pollack & Co.With homebuilding activity still near a record low, the inventory overhang in many markets is gradually being whittled away.Once it's gone -- the timing will vary by region -- markets such as Phoenix will react "like a hockey stick," with prices jumping suddenly after an extended flat period because builders won't be able to move fast enough to meet demand, Pollack said.Pent-up demand and low mortgage rates "are two reasons there will be a recovery -- it's sort of dealt into the cards," said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, wh...