Everyone has an opinion, and this is the time of year when we get to hear those opinions more often. As experts try and predict what will happen in 2012 to the housing market, they also try and look back at the past year and analyze how it turned out. Here are some quotes we are hearing right now.
CEO, market tracker the Warren Group
“My general impression is that we’re sort of bumping along the bottom right now. … I think 2012 will have (appreciably) more home sales than 2011 — and that’ll be the first time that’s happened since 2004. … We won’t have an eight-year downturn — just a seven-year one.”
TIMOTHY WARREN JR.
President, Mass. Association of Realtors; broker, Keller Williams Realty
“I think we’ll see very small (gains) in housing during 2012 if interest rates stay low, consumer confidence stays good and nothing happens (in Washington) to the mortgage-interest deduction. … As long as nothing changes (in housing laws) with the administration and Congress, then I feel we’re going to see inch-by-inch improvements.”
Economist, Northeastern University
“Given the state of the economy, I expect there will be very little change in prices, (or) even slight declines. The volume of sales may be on a slow upward trend, but I don’t expect a (major) rebound — certainly not to the levels we saw (before) the downturn began.”
Analyst with IHS Global Insight
“Our forecast is they [home prices] will hit bottom in the second half of 2012,” said Mr. Newport. “We still will have a lot of foreclosures. That is still going to stay high for another several years.”
Richard Henry Suttmeier
Contributor, Forbes Magazine
“Today there are some tentative positive signs in the housing market, which I view as stability in a market that remains depressed according to the Federal Reserve. New home sales rose for the third consecutive month in November to an annual rate of 315,000. The inventory of new homes reached a record low of 158,000 units, so there should be good demand given an easing of credit standards, or appropriate home buyer initiative programs.”
David M. Blitzer
Chairman of the index committee at S.& P.
“The National Association of Realtors said last week that sales of single-family houses, town houses, condos and co-ops in November rose to 4.42 million, their highest level in 10 months, according to its latest revised data. But there were also signs that buyers were still nervous and lenders were being cautious about approving loans — the association said that a third of all contracts signed in November did not lead to closed sales.”