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Housing price growth expected to slow this year

The national average price of a single-family home will rise 4.8 percent in 2014, and housing prices will reach their pre-recession peak again in February 2018, according to a survey of experts by the real estate company Zillow.

By the end of the year, the economists and investors surveyed said, the price of the average house or condo would grow to about $177,000.

The estimated increase would be lower than 2013, when prices grew 7.3 percent, but Zillow’s survey said the home price growth in 2015 would likely be lower, at 3.7 percent.

Stan Humphries, Zillow’s chief economist, said difficulties saving and qualifying for a mortgage among young people was one of the main causes of slower home price growth.


The other major drag on prices, he said, is older homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage or simply unable to find a buyer.

“We’ve reached a point in the recovery where the only real cure-all is time,” said Humphries. “The landscape is slowly changing, as incomes begin to grow, negative equity fades, and new households start to form. These shifts won’t occur overnight, but they are happening.”

In the Boston area, where the average home costs $363,000, real estate prices will rise more slowly than the rest of the country, according to Zillow figures from late October. For the 12-month period ending in September, local prices rose 5 percent, compared with a national average of 6.5 percent. Over the next year, prices are estimated to rise just 0.3 percent in Greater Boston.

Zillow’s price expectations survey is conducted four times per year. This quarter’s survey gauged the opinions of 107 real estate experts.

Jack Newsham

Jack Newsham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.