Hopes are sinking and uncertainty is on the rise that a housing recovery will begin next year, according to a monthly survey of housing economists.
Exactly half of the 109 economists surveyed by MacroMarkets during the first two weeks of October expect to see the onset of recovery in 2011; the balance don’t expect don’t expect a rebound to take hold until sometime in 2012 or later.
“Even the optimists are not expecting the housing market to recover to the trend that prevailed prior to the bubble. The recovery optimists are projecting cumulative appreciation of more than 14 percent through 2014, while the pessimists are expecting an increase of less than 3 percent over the same period. The disparity of these scenarios confirms that significant uncertainty persists regarding the future path of U.S. home prices. All other things the same, the 11 percent plus expectations gap translates into a difference of $2 trillion in projected household wealth, which underscores the importance of monitoring factors that can affect the timing or strength of housing recovery,” said Terry Loebs, MacroMarkets managing director.
The survey is conducted monthly, and is based upon the projected path of the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index over the coming five years.
“Over the past month, the average projection for 2010 nationwide home price performance
improved slightly among our experts, but for each year thereafter it deteriorated,” said RobertShiller, MacroMarkets co-founder and chief economist. Shiller added, “One plausible explanation for this month’s more negative overall sentiment is recent news concerning foreclosure processing questions and the related possibility of extending the supply pipeline.”
The October survey is a turnaround from last month the MacroMarkets survey found a slight improvement in sentiment among the participating economists. “For the first time since May when we started conducting this survey, the consensus from our expert panel shows some improvement in the outlook for nationwide home prices in 2010,” said Shiller at that time. “However, the average of panelist projections in September still implies 2.2 percent negative growth for the second half of this calendar year, and no improvement in expectations for next year and beyond. These survey results and other recent housing market data are consistent with a scenario of downward-correcting prices in the wake of unsustainable, tax incentive-induced second quarter performance.”