Those who say U.S. home prices have hit bottom were premature, a Zillow numbers cruncher told a meeting of real estate news writers.
“The housing recession is not over. Housing prices will continue to fall,” Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said at the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Austin, Texas.
By Humphries’ estimate, home prices won’t bottom out until this summer. But don’t expect a quick rebound in home prices once that bottom is reached, he added.
“It’s going to be a long, flat affair,” he said.
While other home-price trackers, such as the Case-Shiller Index, showed that home prices turned the corner months ago, Zillow’s numbers show several month-to-month declines in home prices. Humphries noted that unlike Case-Shiller, however, Zillow’s numbers do not include sales of bank-repossessed homes, which have seen significant appreciation rates as bargain hunters compete to buy them.
“Case-Shiller has been influenced by a change in the mix,” Humphries said. “It’s been skewed by foreclosure resales.”