Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Zillow Q2 2018 Home Price Expectations Survey – Summary & Comments

On May 22, 2018, the Zillow Q2 2018 Home Price Expectations Survey results were released.  This survey is done on a quarterly basis.
An excerpt from the press release:
In the meantime, experts think the housing market will continue to experience strong appreciation. They predict U.S. home values will rise 5.5 percent in 2018 to a median of $220,800. At this time last year, predictions were for home values to rise 3.7 percent in 2018.
“Constrained home supply, persistent demand, very low unemployment, and steady economic growth have given a jolt to the near-term outlook for U.S. home prices,” said Pulsenomics founder, Terry Loebs. “These conditions are overshadowing concerns that mortgage rate increases expected this year might quash the appetite of prospective home buyers.”
Various Q2 2018 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey charts are available, including that seen below:
Zillow U.S. Home Price Expectations
As one can see from the above chart, the average expectation is that the residential real estate market, as depicted by the U.S. Zillow Home Value Index, will continually climb.
The detail of the Q2 2018 Home Price Expectations Survey (pdf) is interesting.  Of the 100+ survey respondents, only five (of the displayed responses) forecasts a cumulative price decrease through 2022, and none of those forecasts is for a double-digit percentage decline.   The largest decline is seen as a 7.86% cumulative price decrease through 2022.
The Median Cumulative Home Price Appreciation for years 2018-2022 is seen as 5.75%, 10.24%, 13.53%, 16.75%, and 20.46%, respectively.
For a variety of reasons, I continue to believe that even the most “bearish” of these forecasts (as seen in the above-referenced forecast) will prove far too optimistic in hindsight.  From a longer-term historical perspective, such a decline is very mild in light of the wild excesses that occurred over the “bubble” years.
I have written extensively about the residential real estate situation.  For a variety of reasons, it is exceedingly complex.  While many people continue to have an optimistic view regarding future residential real estate prices, in my opinion such a view is unsupported on an “all things considered” basis.  Furthermore, from these price levels there exists outsized potential for a price decline of severe magnitude, unfortunately.  I discussed this downside, based upon historical price activity, in the October 24, 2010 post titled “What’s Ahead For The Housing Market – A Look At The Charts.”
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2724.44 as this post is written

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