U.S. Home Value Appreciation to Slow in 2014: Zillow

Housing economists and real estate investment and market strategists are forecasting U.S. home value appreciation to slow down not only in 2014, but the next five years too, according to a Zillow survey.

Home prices are expected to end 2013 up nearly 7% year-over-year before slowing down considerably through 2018. The 108 survey respondents are predicting appreciation rates to be about 4% in 2014, and eventually fall to 3.4% in five years.    

National home values could exceed their May 2007 peak by the first quarter of 2018, the survey says based on current expectations for home price appreciation, as well as surpass the $200,000 threshold by the end of that same year.  

“The housing market has seen a period of unsustainable, breakneck appreciation, and some cooling off is both welcome and expected,” said Stan Humphries, chief economist for Zillow. “Rising mortgage rates, diminished investor demand and slowly rising inventory will all contribute to the slowdown of appreciation.”

Most panelists (58%) also said they would like to see the federal government maintain a considerable role in the mortgage market. Only 8% of those surveyed said the government should have a “non-existent” role in the conforming market.

The federal government accounted for 50% of all new mortgage originations at the beginning of the 21st century, but now backs approximately 90%, says Terry Loebs, founder of Pulsenomics LLC, an independent research and consulting firm that conducted the home expectations survey on behalf of Zillow.  

Survey respondents said they would like to see the government support 35% of mortgage loans going forward, which is roughly the level that was seen in 2006.  

“Policy discussions centered on reforming the nation’s housing finance system have only just begun,” Humphries said. “How much mortgages will end up costing average consumers, and the continued availability of traditional mortgage products like the 30-year fixed rate mortgage, are among the critical issues currently at stake for consumers in these debates.”

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