Columnist Lee Schafer provides short takes on economic incentives and choices, business strategy and performance, market moves, what business leaders are saying and doing and other topics that pique his interest.

Housing price forecast through 2022 all over the map, but Twin Cities looking good.

Posted by: Lee Schafer Updated: January 24, 2014 - 12:02 PM

One of the most interesting findings in a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s housing economist is just how much variation there will be in housing prices among major Metro areas.   

The report, released Friday by a team that included MIT's well-known housing economist William Wheaton, takes a look ahead at housing supply and other factors to arrive at a 2022 metro-wide price index. And because of the boom in the middle of the last decade in housing prices, this study uses prices from the boom year of 2007 as one of its starting points.

As the report concluded, “in current dollars, some [metro areas] will still not recover to recent peak (2007) house price levels by 2022, while others should exceed it by as much as 70 percent.”

In fact, in some of the 70 areas in the study,  housing prices will not get back to 2007 peaks even in nominal dollars by 2022. In the Las Vegas market, it’s not going to even be close. But because I work in Minneapolis and not Las Vegas, I had to scroll to the back of the paper to see a forecast for the Twin Cities.

According to Wheaton and his colleagues, housing prices will be up about 18 percent in constant dollars, compared to prices in 2007. Because we all pay our mortgages in nominal dollars, not inflation-adjusted dollars, it was interesting to note that in nominal dollars prices will be up 54 percent.

The Twin Cities market is one of the better ones, along with Denver and a few others. How this team of economists arrived at these forecasted values I frankly don’t really understand, but I do foresee a home equity line of credit in many Twin Cities consumers’ futures. 

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