2010 is just a few days old and already the "experts" are making predictions for the year.
Housing calls and mortgage rate predictions run the gamut:
- Home prices will fall in 2010
- Home prices will rise in 2010
- Mortgage rates will rise in 2010
- Mortgage rates will rise by a lot in 2010
Given how varied their outlooks, it's clear that the professionals have no better view of the future than the amateurs. An expert can make an educated guess, but it's a guess nonetheless.
Last year, Wall Streeters predicted a 25% pullback in home prices. 12 months later, we know prices didn't fall. Wall Street also predicted higher mortgage rates for 2009. That prediction was fulfilled.
In a recent article in Real Estate Trends, it was predicted that the Philadelphia market would appreciate at a rate that would make it one of the top 20 markets in the country. And based on the early activity this year, demand for our moderate priced housing may well lead to increased prices.
There's a lot of talk on CNBC and elsewhere about what's coming in 2010. Before you take those predictions to the bank, just remember that analysts do a much better job interpreting data from the past than projecting it into the future.
The only thing that's certain right now is that mortgage rates are historically low, the government is giving tax credits to qualified buyers, and there's a lot of good "deals" in housing. Make the most of what's out there today because it will take 12 months for us to look back and know which predictions were right and which were wrong.
Until then, predictions are just opinions and guesses.