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Real estate’s ‘what if?’ factor

Waiting for 'economic angel' may prove futile

The real estate event of the summer
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The big wildcard in the 2011 housing forecast remains employment. Will the predicted improvement in jobs and household formation balance the negative perceptions brought by rising foreclosure rates and concerns about improper foreclosure procedures? While home affordability factors are at their best levels in years, consumers have begun to question if owning a home is a good personal decision. The discussion about dropping the mortgage interest deduction is fanning those flames. John Tuccillo, housing analyst and former chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said there is high-level debate in our nation's capital regarding the inherent value of homeownership that has people concerned long-term. "Real estate remains a pothole due to uncertainty," Tuccillo said. "The 'what-if' factor is hurting us. People don't know if they'll have a job; don't know if we've reached the bottom of the market; don't know if more bank failures are imminent; don'...