According to a survey of 92 housing economists and experts, home prices across the nation will begin a slow but steady recovery beginning next year.

The analysts surveyed by MacroMarkets on average expect home prices, as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller national index, to rise about 12% in the five years ending Dec. 31, 2014.

Here in Virginia, the median sales price hit a low point in the first quarter of 2009.  It climbed steadily in the second, third and fourth quarters, but took a dip in the first quarter of 2010, according to our most recent home sales report. But even with the dip in 1Q, in Virginia, we’re still up 8.1% from the bottoming out in the first quarter of 2009.

But is there another dip coming? Everyone’s watching the housing market to see what will happen now that the federal homebuyer tax credit has expired. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported that mortgage applications declined to their lowest level in 13 years last week. Not a good sign.

However, NAR cites a statistic that 27% of all home purchases are cash-only deals (up from 15% last year at this time), perhaps making mortgage purchase applications a less reliable leading indicator of future sales.

Experts also have their attention fixed on jobs. Almost all agree that the housing market won’t fully recover until the unemployment numbers subside. But the employment figures are fickle: Jobless claims unexpectedly jumped last week, the first increase in five weeks.

What are you seeing from your perspective? We’d like to know: Our July/August issue of Commonwealth will have a feature story on life after the housing stimulus. What’s your take? Leave a smart comment and you could be interviewed for the story.

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