For real estate, some economists say, an end to the seemingly endless decline in housing values might be in sight.
Not immediately. At the moment, prices are still dropping. In 20 large cities, prices fell 0.8 percent in March from the previous month, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index released Tuesday. That pushed the closely watched index below its level of two years ago to a new post-bubble low, and put it 33.1 percent under its July 2006 peak.
Few analysts expect housing prices to rebound anytime soon. But quite a few are predicting that the market is close to the moment when things will stop getting worse, which will be a major improvement all by itself.
“By far the bulk of the downturn of housing prices is beyond us,” said Paul Dales of Capital Economics. He expects the market to slip 5 percent further, slightly more than he was expecting a few months ago.
“There are some amazingly favorable signs. Housing is the most undervalued it’s been in 35 years,” Mr. Dales said. “At some point, it’s going to do very well.”