The consensus from a quarterly poll of more than 100 economists, real estate experts, and investment strategists is that home prices will bounce back from a slight decline in 2012, rising gradually from 2013 through 2016. Asked to project the path of the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index over the next five years, participants said they expect the gauge to slip 0.4 percent this year from 2011 but to gain 1.3 percent in 2013. The research, conducted by Pulsenomics Inc. on behalf of Zillow, reflected less optimism compared to two years ago. “In June 2010, the average cumulative appreciation in U.S. home prices expected by our panel was 10.3 percent for the years 2012 through 2014,” explains Pulsenomics founder Terry Loebs. “Now … the average prediction among our experts for the same period is just 3.5 percent. This translates into $1.25 trillion less housing wealth than expected nationally over the coming three years.” Additionally, 56 percent of the experts queried believe the U.S. homeownership rate five years from now will be lower than the 65.4 percent registered for the first quarter of 2012. One in five speculated that the rate would dip to or below 63 percent. | Read More