Home prices surprise economist with larger than expected increase in value

Home prices will see steady increases through 2016 starting this year, according to a quarterly survey of more than 100 economists, real estate experts and investment strategists.  The most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, which include data through June, show national home prices up 1.2 percent from a year ago during the second quarter. All of the markets in the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city composite posted annual gains for the second month in a row, and all but two — Charlotte and Dallas — posted better annual returns in June compared to May, And all of this despite the fact that the same group predicted a .4% loss in home prices this year, followed by very modest increases beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2016.

Economists now forecast home prices will rise 2.3 percent in 2012 from fourth-quarter 2011, and see further cumulative rises of 4.7 percent in 2013, 8 percent in 2014, 11.4 percent in 2015, and 15.2 percent in 2016.

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