Forecasters' expectations for 2012 subdued

Underwater borrowers, glut of REOs weighing down recovery

Assume that the European debt crisis doesn’t derail a global economic recovery in 2012 and the U.S. continues on a modest growth path next year. The question for those earning a living as real estate brokers and agents then becomes whether that little ray of sunshine will firm home prices and boost sales.

According to many analysts, the answer is: Don’t get your hopes up, at least not until 2013. While some forecasters see a turnaround beginning next year, more think home prices and sales won’t begin to climb back toward their historical trendlines in earnest until 2013.