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Zillow: Homes Gain $1.3T in Value in 2012

After five years of cumulative losses, home values will finally post their first annual gain, according to data from Zillow. The calculations show homes are expected to gain $1.3 trillion in cumulative value for 2012, the largest gain since 2005 and the first annual increase since 2006, Zillow reported. The company expects the year-end total to reach $23.7 trillion, which is a 6 percent increase from last year's total. In 2011, the cumulative loss in home values was $792 billion compared to 2010.

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Five Star Economist Forecasts ‘Painfully Slow Improvement’

No matter how foggy the haze is, economists typically dust off their crystal balls in December. However economic forecasts too often involve driving by looking in a rear-view mirror. Because housing is a unique expenditure--combining elements of investment and a service--it depends on a variety of elements. The biggest question mark over the housing picture, though, is the fiscal cliff and the on-again, off-again negotiations to avoid a national financial calamity.

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Cassidy Turley Warns of Fiscal Cliff’s Impact on CRE

What does the commercial real estate sector have to look forward to in the coming year? Not much, if the fiscal cliff isn't averted, according to a study from commercial real estate (CRE) services provider Cassidy Turley. While dropping over the fiscal cliff would likely cause some serious problems for CRE, the firm also predicts a successful resolution of the problem could build on 2012's gains in GDP and employment, propelling the economy (and the office market) further forward.

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Industry Reps Call for Preservation of Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction

As Washington engages in a standoff over budgetary proposals to avert the fiscal cliff, several industry professionals and associations are calling upon lawmakers to avoid slaughtering what was once thought to be a sacred cow: the mortgage interest tax deduction (MID). While many housing professionals view the deduction as a break for homeowners and an incentive for others to purchase their own homes, critics call the MID a "subsidization of the real estate industry."

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AmeriBid to Sell Medium Security Prison in 2013 Auction

In Bethany, Missouri, AmeriBid LLC is preparing to preside over the bank-ordered sale of a very unusual property--a medium security prison. Recently announcing plans for a sealed-bid auction in 2013, AmeriBid's regional director Don Gabriel put a positive spin on the proceedings, noting that the 14.56-acre spread was "a great opportunity to own a multi-use property between Kansas City and Des Moines."

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NAHB: Production to Pick Up Speed in 2013 as Demand Increases

2012's upward trends in most housing indicators point to continued growth in the new year--but the road to recovery isn't clear yet, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) says in its 2013 outlook. NAHB chief economist David Crowe notes the market is transitioning from a very low demand level to a case where supply may be a problem. As new homes are built to address supply concerns, the new stock is expected to take a much more active role in the recovery.

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Gauging the Market: 2008 to Today

How much have housing sales recovered compared to 2008's levels? According to the most recent measures released by the "U.S. Treasury, 2012's sales fall somewhere in the middle between 2008's highs and 2011's lows. The latest monthly data on U.S. economic statistics shows new home sales reached an annualized average of 368,000 in October. While that statistic comes in above 2010's annualized monthly average of 321,000--and well above 2011's average of 307,000--it still falls short of previous years.

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Capital Economics Peers Past Fiscal Cliff

Even as the country barrels closer and closer to the fiscal cliff at the end of the year, Capital Economics is maintaining its projection for modest economic growth in 2013. In the firm's latest US Economics Update, economists Paul Ashworth and Paul Dale take a peek into what they believe is America's likely economic future: GDP growth of 2.0 percent in 2013 followed by 2.5 percent the following year. Of course, there are some major factors that could seriously stifle growth.

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