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Our Predictions

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

Our Predictions

Everyone would like a crystal ball to see into the future. What stocks should we buy? Who should we marry? Should we order the veal? Everyone from fortune tellers to stockbrokers act as though they know—and as though we should listen to them. When their predictions come true, we go back for more predictions. When they don't—well, some of us go back anyway.

When we set out to determine what housing prices would be in the year 2012, we knew that there was no way to know for sure. But in working with Brookfield, Wisc.-based research firm Fiserv, we weighed historical data against current trends to get a bead on which way the markets might jump at one-year increments. By combining data, we were able to get a pretty good idea of what home prices would be in three years' time. Across the board, real estate prices will continue to drop before rising slightly by the fourth quarter of 2011. Why is that important? Given the wretched state of the real estate market today, both homeowners and potential buyers might be better able to make an informed decision about when, and whether, they should move or stay put. Obviously, we can't guarantee that our data will hold up—although we think it will—but what does become clear is that even the worst-hit markets will begin to see improvement by 2012.

To find out what the median price of a home is forecasted to be in the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. in 2012, read on.

All data provided by Fiserv
With Tara Kalwarski