U.S. Housing: Bear
U.S. Housing: Bear
Not every forecast is so rosy. Plenty of economists are betting that 2012's housing market won't be much different than the lackluster market of previous years. Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi says he expects home prices to fall another 4% to 5%. And analysts at Deutsche Bank forecast that national home prices on average will "likely drift still slower," as the market needs more time to run off the excess stock of vacant homes, which remains about one million units above historical trends.

And then there's the so-called "shadow inventory," or the onslaught of homes that are still going through the foreclosure process and haven't made their way into the housing market. It's uncertain what the implications are for the housing market, but many worry it could further depress prices and prolong a recovery.

By Nin-Hai Tseng @FortuneMagazine - Last updated December 28 2011: 8:54 AM ET
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