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Economists Expect 2012 Housing Momentum To Carry Into 2013

Panel of 105 Forecasters Predicts Where Case-Shiller Index Will Stand in Five Years; Majority Say Potential Changes to Mortgage Interest Deduction Will Negatively Affect High-End Home Values

Dec 26, 2012

SEATTLE, Dec. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A nationwide panel of more than 100 professional forecasters expects home prices to rise 3.1 percent in 2013 after finishing 2012 up more than 4.6 percent, reflecting growing optimism in the housing market, according to the December 2012 Zillow® Home Price Expectations Survey.

The survey of 105 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists was sponsored by leading real estate information marketplace Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ: Z) and conducted by Pulsenomics LLC. It is based on the projected path of the S&P/Case-Shiller® U.S. National Home Price Index during the coming five years.

Survey respondents said they expect home prices to increase in full-year 2012 by 4.6 percent, up from their more modest forecast of 2.3 percent in the September 2012 survey. Respondents also indicated they expect home prices to rise 3.1 percent in 2013, up from an expectation of 2.4 percent in September, and by more than 3 percent annually through 2017.

"An organic recovery in the housing market really took hold in the latter half of 2012, and this improvement is echoed in some of the most optimistic price projections we've seen in years from this group," said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. "Record levels of affordability and an improving overall economic picture have really helped buoy the market and have us well positioned for continued growth, albeit slightly slower, in 2013 and beyond."

The most optimistici quartile of panelists predicts a 6.3 percent increase in 2012, on average, while the most pessimisticii predicts an average increase of 3 percent. For 2013, price change projections range from 4.9 percent among the most optimistic quartile to 0.8 percent among the most pessimistic, on average.

Mortgage Interest Deduction Would Negatively Impact High-End Home Prices

Changes to the mortgage interest deduction (MID) may be a key element of a fiscal cliff "grand bargain," so the panel was asked to gauge how certain proposed MID changes would impact home prices in both the near and long term.

The survey examined three scenarios: Reducing the maximum MID-eligible mortgage amount to $500,000 and eliminating the allowance for second homes; capping all itemized deductions, including the MID, at $25,000 per year; and eliminating the MID over a multi-year period.

There was only one instance in which a majority of respondents indicated prices would not be negatively affected – 55 percent of respondents said the first scenario outlined above would have little to no near-term impact on overall home prices.  Eliminating the MID entirely over a period of several years was expected to have the biggest negative impact on high-end home prices over the long-term, with 70 percent of respondents saying they expected such prices to fall moderately or significantly under such a scenario.

"If adopted, any measure to limit or repeal the MID will result in distinct price impacts over time and by market segment, and our survey data are consistent with this view," said Pulsenomics Founder Terry Loebs. "For example, in the event that the maximum MID-eligible mortgage amount is reduced from $1 million to $500,000 and the deduction allowance for second homes is eliminated – an ingredient of the Simpson-Bowles proposal – the majority of respondents expect high-end home prices to fall while U.S. home prices overall experience little or no price impact."

Additional details regarding this portion of the survey are available at

This is the 15th edition of the Home Price Expectations Survey. It was conducted from Nov. 30, 2012 through Dec. 12, 2012 by Pulsenomics LLC on behalf of Zillow, Inc.

For full survey results and graphics, please visit Zillow Real Estate Research at, or

About Zillow:
Zillow (NASDAQ: Z) is the leading real estate information marketplace, providing vital information about homes, real estate listings and mortgages through its website and mobile applications, enabling homeowners, buyers, sellers and renters to connect with real estate and mortgage professionals best suited to meet their needs. In addition, Zillow operates an industry-leading economics and analytics bureau led by Zillow's Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries. Dr. Humphries and his team of economists and data analysts produce extensive housing data and research covering more than 350 markets at Zillow Real Estate Research. Zillow, Inc. operates®, Zillow Mortgage Marketplace,  Zillow Rentals, Zillow Mobile, Postlets®, Diverse Solutions®, Buyfolio™, Mortech™ and HotPads™. The company is headquartered in Seattle., Zillow, Postlets and Diverse Solutions are registered trademarks of Zillow, Inc. Buyfolio, Mortech and HotPads are trademarks of Zillow, Inc.

Case-Shiller is a registered trademark of Fiserv, Inc.

About Pulsenomics:

Pulsenomics LLC is an independent research and consulting firm that specializes in data analytics, new product and index development for institutional clients in the financial and real estate arenas.  Pulsenomics also designs and manages expert surveys and consumer polls to identify trends and expectations that are relevant to effective business management and monitoring economic health.

i Based on the 25 percent most optimistic panelists in terms of cumulative home price change through 2017.
ii Based on the 25 percent most pessimistic panelists in terms of cumulative home price change through 2017.


For further information: Cory Hopkins, Zillow, +1-206-757-2701,