It’s been a long time coming, but economists surveyed by CNNMoney believe the nation’s housing market has finally turned the corner.
Of the 14 economists who answered questions about home prices in the survey, nine believe that prices have already turned higher or will make that turn later this year. Only three months ago, half of the economists surveyed by CNNMoney believed a turnaround in prices would not take place until 2013 or later.
Economists have been encouraged by a variety of readings, including three straight months of increases in the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a pick-up in sales of existing homes and home construction and a big jump in the price of new home sales.
Mortgage rates are also likely to remain near record lows thanks to the Federal Reserve’s purchase of $40 billion in mortgages a month for the foreseeable future.
Still, economists don’t believe housing is ready to be a major driver of economic growth, as it was during the housing boom and some earlier economic recoveries. But housing could keep the economy moving in the right direction.