Real estate experts Sam Zell and Robert Shiller disagree over the outlook for home prices.
Zell, chairman of Equity Group Investment, sees them going up.
But Yale economics professor Shiller doesn’t.
The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, co-created by Shiller, rose in October for the fifth straight month.
But the rate of increase – 0.4 percent – has slowed markedly.
“I think we’ve seen the bottom of the housing market,” Zell told CNBC.
“I think it will continue to recover for all of 2010.”
That doesn’t mean all of the woes are behind us, he says.
“There are still a lot of foreclosures. There are still a lot of last year’s stories that have to be cleared. . . . But it’s very clear that we’re starting to see prices increase.”
Shiller begs to differ.
He says the recent sluggish gains in his index are surprising.
“This is a puzzling market. It’s not behaving the way it has in the past,” he told CNBC.
“I would say the uncertainty is maximal about to where it will go from here.”
Shiller notes that many like Zell are bullish.
“If that spirit comes back, we could see a strong market even in this weak economy,” Shiller said.
“But I still think it’s . . . better than a 50-50 chance that we’re going to see declines.”
John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo, sides with Zell.
"We're starting to get a little bit of a turnaround,” he told Bloomberg.
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