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Housing recovery may be slower than expected in 2012

Mar 27, 2012 Walt Wojciechowski

The housing market, which is often cited as fundamental to any sort of significant economic recovery, is not likely to grow at as robust a pace this year than originally expected, according to real estate marketplace Zillow. According to the 2012 Home Price Expectations Survey, economists expect home prices to decline by 0.7 percent this year, considerably higher than previous projection of a 0.2 percent drop. While interest rates are expected to remain new record lows, the report points to low revenues and weak sales for homeowners. This trend may exacerbate the crisis of low demand and high foreclosures rates that have dominated the market in recent years. However, the March survey projects home prices will rise in 2013, with economists expecting an increase of somewhere between 1.4 percent and 1.8 percent. "Conditions across the country vary considerably," said Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries. "Some markets have already hit bottom and are experiencing tight inventory and multiple offers, while foreclosures and negative equity continue to pull down the housing market in many other parts of the country."