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December 28th, 2011

No. 3: ‘4 experts forecast 2011 housing market’



2011-3DNumber three on our Top 10 most popular articles of 2011 is, “4 experts forecast 2011 housing market.”

Publish date: January 03, 2011
Written by: Constance Gustke


We asked top real estate experts Ilyce Glink of Thinkglink.com, Paul Bishop of the National Association of Realtors, Barbara Corcoran of the Today show, and Dan Green of TheMortgageReports.com to share their thoughts on the housing market in 2011. Here’s their takeaway on what to expect.

Glum market fundamentals, limited bright spots

Ilyce Glink is the publisher at Thinkglink.com.

Real estate isn’t much better than in the past two years. Unemployment is still high, and real estate sales are tied to jobs. Unemployment might have to go below 8 percent before the market is spurred.

Some markets are very tough, like Florida, Michigan, Arizona and parts of Illinois. Prices may not have hit bottom. But it’s localized; even in Florida, some pockets are doing OK. Across the country, homes prices are up 1 percent. But after falling 35 percent, prices aren’t going to jump that much. This massive drop is unprecedented in the past 100 years.

I expect existing and new home sales to be weak this year.

Headwinds will temper recovery

Paul Bishop is an economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The real estate market will recover slightly this year. It won’t bounce back like you’d expect.

What’s pushing the housing market is low mortgage rates, high housing affordability and some economic growth. We’re adding jobs at a modest pace.

Headwinds include high unemployment, and our forecast doesn’t suggest that it will drop. And foreclosures are keeping the market from moving ahead more quickly. High levels of foreclosures exist in areas such as Florida, Nevada, parts of Michigan, and Ohio. Consumers will be more cautious. They don’t want to buy a home today because they fear falling prices. And there’s new concern about the process itself. It’s such a mess. We don’t know what the impact will be.

More of the same in 2011

Barbara Corcoran is a nationally known real estate and business expert.

I see more of the same this year, for a few reasons. There will be more foreclosures. And getting a new mortgage is great if you have a stellar credit rating. It’s as if amazingly low interest rates were rendered meaningless.

There are rays of hope, though. As many markets are up as down in the third quarter, according to NAR. Florida, southern California and Nevada haven’t hit bottom yet. Until we get rid of foreclosures, we can’t have a rebound.

Mortgage rates: a sprung coil

Dan Green is a loan officer at Waterstone Mortgage and writes TheMortgageReports.com.

There’s more room for mortgage rates to rise than fall. I tell clients to lock in something now. When rates start to rise, they’ll rise quickly. There is lots of concern about ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) resets. But I never believed that. The ARMs adjusting in 2011 are tied to LIBOR, and it’s cheap. Most mortgages are going to adjust down.

But mortgage guidelines will get tighter. It will be harder to be approved. There’s extra scrutiny by banks. They’ve raised their minimum requirements so the loans are better. That decreases the buyer pool.

Read more from our ‘top 10 of 2011’ list:

No. 10: ‘Why is it so hard to be approved for a HARP refinance?’

No. 9: ‘Crazy to refi into an ARM? Not at all’

No. 8: ‘3 hot home renovations’

No. 7: ‘HARP 2.0: Your 5 steps to approval’

No. 6: ‘Do you have to pay your mortgage if your home is destroyed?’

No. 5: ‘Think like a criminal: 4 steps to securing your home’

No. 4: ‘Can you get out of a home purchase contract?’

For more on the 2011 housing market, read:

HSH.com’s 2011 Outlook for Mortgage Rates and the Mortgage Market

The 2011 mortgage market swirl

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About the HSH Blog

HSH.com's daily blog focuses on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets. Our mission is to relate how changes in mortgage rates and housing policy, as well as the latest financial news, impacts consumers, homebuyers and industry insiders alike. Our 30-plus years of experience in the mortgage industry gives us an edge as we break down the latest changes in an ever-changing market.

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Tim Manni

Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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