Zillow December 2012 Home Price Expectations Survey – Summary & Comments

On December 26, the Zillow December 2012 Home Price Expectations Survey (pdf) results were released.  This survey is done on a quarterly basis.

An image from the December 2012 Survey results is seen below:

(click on chart image to enlarge)

Zillow Dec2012 HPE Projections Chart


As one can see from the above chart, the average expectation is that the residential real estate market, as depicted by the Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index (NSA), will continually climb after 2012.

The detail of the December 2012 Home Price Expectations Survey (pdf) is interesting.  Of the 105 survey respondents, 4 (of the displayed responses) forecast a cumulative price decrease through 2017; and of those 4, only 2, William Hummer and Gary Shilling, foresee a double-digit percentage cumulative price drop, at 13.13% and 11.87%, respectively.

The Median Cumulative Home Price Appreciation for years 2012-2017 is seen as 4.60%, 8.12%, 11.94%, 15.86%, 19.42%, and 23.67%, respectively.

For a variety of reasons, I continue to believe that even the most “bearish” of these forecasts (as seen in William Hummer’s above-referenced forecast)  will prove too optimistic in hindsight.  Although a 13.13% cumulative decline is substantial, 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 1419.83 as this post is written