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The end may be in sight – and getting a better sense of when it’s coming can help you make the smartest buying and selling decisions.
(Money Magazine) — Call it the Great Housing Paralysis of 2009. If you’re hoping to buy your first home or invest in a second one, you’re probably sidelined, unsure when to jump in. If you want to sell, you’re thinking it may be better to wait. And even if you don’t plan to either buy or sell anytime soon, watching one of your biggest assets tank is about as much fun as being chased by hornets. When will the pain stop?
Nationwide, home prices will bottom out at the end of this year, according to the forecasters at Moody’s Economy.com. Median prices will probably fall another 10% on top of the 27% they’ve plummeted since their 2006 peak. That prediction assumes that President Obama’s various recovery efforts – including billions to slow foreclosures and goose bank lending, plus a tax credit to most 2009 buyers who haven’t owned in the past three years – will have some effect. If they don’t, says Economy.com’s Mark Zandi, the bottom could come as late as 2011.
And then? “The recovery will look more like a U than a V,” predicts Mike Larson, a real estate analyst at Weiss Research. Translation: After home prices hit their lows, they’ll probably stay there for a few years as the economy slowly struggles back to its feet. Prices aren’t expected to reach their 2006 levels again for another decade.