On February 12, 2014, the Zillow Q1 2014 Home Price Expectations Survey results were released. This survey is done on a quarterly basis.
Two excerpts from the Press Release:
The survey of 110 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists asked panelists to predict the path of the U.S. Zillow Home Value Indexi through 2018 and solicited opinions on investor activity and federal monetary policy. The survey was sponsored by leading real estate information marketplace Zillow, Inc. and is conducted quarterly by Pulsenomics LLC.
On average, panelists said they expect nationwide home value appreciation of 4.5 percent through the end of this year, a pace that exceeds historically normal annual appreciation rates of around 3 percent. This appreciation is expected to slow to roughly 3.8 percent in 2015 and 3.3 percent by 2018, rates much more in line with historic norms.
Based on current expectations for home value appreciation during the next five years, panelists predicted that overall U.S. home values could exceed their April 2007 peak by the first quarter of 2018, and may cross the$200,000 threshold by the third quarter of 2018.
Various Q1 2014 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey charts are available, including that seen below:
As one can see from the above chart, the average expectation is that the residential real estate market, as depicted by the U.S. Zillow Home Value Index Level, will continually climb.
The detail of the Q1 2014 Home Price Expectations Survey (pdf) is interesting. Of the 110 survey respondents, only two (of the displayed responses) forecast a cumulative price decrease through 2018; and of those two, neither foresee a double-digit percentage cumulative price drop. The most “bearish” of these forecasts is that of Mark Hanson’s prediction of a 5.91% cumulative price decrease through 2018.
The Median Cumulative Home Price Appreciation for years 2014-2018 is seen as 4.50%, 8.51%, 12.48%, 15.86%, and 19.76%, respectively.
For a variety of reasons, I continue to believe that even the most “bearish” of these forecasts (as seen in Mark Hanson’s above-referenced forecast) will prove too optimistic in hindsight. From a longer-term historical perspective, such a decline is rather tame in light of the wild excesses that occurred over the “bubble” years.
I have written extensively about the residential real estate situation. For a variety of reasons, it is exceedingly complex. While many people continue to have an optimistic view regarding future residential real estate prices, in my opinion such a view is unsupported on an “all things considered” basis. Furthermore, (even) from these price levels there exists outsized potential for a price decline of severe magnitude, unfortunately. I discussed this downside, based upon historical price activity, in the October 24, 2010 post titled “What’s Ahead For The Housing Market – A Look At The Charts.”
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 1819.26 as this post is written