Zillow Q1 2016 Home Price Expectations Survey – Summary & Comments

On February 17, 2016, the Zillow Q1 2016 Home Price Expectations Survey results were released.  This survey is done on a quarterly basis.

Excerpts from the Press Release:

Prices of newly constructed homes are at historic highs — the median price of new homes sold in December 2015 was almost 7 percent above the pre-recession peak of $267,000 in March 2007.

Overall home price expectations are up from a quarter ago, with survey respondents expecting 3.7 percent home value appreciation in 2016. Respondents expected 3.4 percent appreciation last quarter.

Various Q1 2016 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey charts are available, including that seen below:

U.S. Home Price Expectations chart

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, will continually climb.

The detail of the Q1 2016 Home Price Expectations Survey (pdf) is interesting.  Of the 100+ survey respondents, only one (of the displayed responses) forecasts a cumulative price decrease through 2020.  That forecast is from Mark Hanson, who foresees a 16.65% cumulative price decrease through 2020.

The Median Cumulative Home Price Appreciation for years 2016-2020 is seen as 3.72%, 7.12%, 10.55%, 13.89%, and 17.62%, 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 very mild 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, 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 1926.82 as this post is written