by Broderick Perkins
(5/25/2011) Remember when Zillow predicted housing was due to begin recovery in the third quarter of 2010?
Later, 2011 became the year to bank on.
Fiserv, the National Association of Realtors and others all said the end would be near in 2011.
You know how those "end-ofs" go.
Earlier this month, in the face of the dreaded "double dip," Zillow revised its forecast, putting off recovery to 2012, at best.
See where this is going?
The latest bet is on 2014 -- or later.
A survey by Trulia and RealtyTrac reveals 54 percent of American adults believe 2014 will be the year the housing market begins to return to the gold standard.
Six months ago, a previous survey found that 42 percent of American adults said they thought the market would turn around by 2012 or had already turned around. Now, only 23 percent continue to think this will happen.
"Most Americans, as our latest survey revealed, over estimated how quickly the housing market would bounce back, but when it does, it will likely be a long and gradual process. Looking at the recent double dips in home prices, I expect the rest of 2011 to be volatile for real estate," said Pete Flint, co-founder and CEO, Trulia.
The housing market remains sluggish for a variety of reasons.
Mortgage relief programs from the government and the private sector just can't hack it under the thumb of tight lending rules. Unemployment remains high. The supply of distressed homes is going nowhere fast.
Rick Sharga, senior vice president of RealtyTrac said, "Demand remains weak, loans are increasingly difficult to qualify for, and the shadow inventory of several million distressed properties is weighing down the market. All of these things need to improve before housing can recover."
The survey also found 45 percent of American adults say the government is not doing enough to prevent foreclosures.
About one in three home \owners reported they have or know someone who has applied for or received a loan modification, stopped paying their mortgage, foreclosed, walked away or short sold their home.
"On the flip side, mortgage rates won't stay low forever and even if home prices continue to fall for a bit, now is still a good time to enter the housing market. In my eyes, we have another 18 months until we start to see signs of price stability in the housing market," Flint said.
Eighteen months, 24 months, three years?
Keep in mind, these forecasts, predictions, and crystal ball gazing only consider stability, the beginning of recovery, the bottom of the market.
A grim study last year from Fiserv Case-Shiller says the housing crash won't correct to boom-time levels of 2006-20007 until 2025 in major metro areas of some of the nation's worst hit housing markets.
The good news? If you've got the cash or can land the financing it's
best time in decades to get a piece of the American Dream.
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