In a new report, Merrill Lynch declares that housing is in a bear market and that a "buyer's market" for homes should last for "years."Merrill notes that the unsold inventories of homes continue to pile up, and that resale prices are flattening in the single-family market, while declining for condominiums. Meanwhile, a new report by Friedman Billings Ramsey says home price gains will continue to slow nationwide. FBR is still bullish on the nation's largest market, California. It predicts that house prices in the state "should rise by a median year-over-year rate of 24.1% in 1Q07, whereas they had risen by a median year-over-year rate of 21.7% in 1Q06." FBR cautions that home price gains in California will not be uniform.

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