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Housing experts predict strong recovery

BY Brae Canlen

Economists who follow the housing industry expect home prices to rise by a total of 2.3% during 2012, according to the September 2012 Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey. Compiled from 113 responses from a diverse group of economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists, the survey found that housing experts have become more bullish on home prices than they were last quarter. Many of the projections are based on the projected path of the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index during the coming five years.

Survey respondents expect home prices to increase in full-year 2012 by 2.3%, up from their forecast of -0.4% in the June 2012 survey. Respondents have also revised their forecasts for 2013-2016, predicting steadily increasing home values in each year.

"This is further evidence that we’re seeing a true recovery in the housing market," said Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries. "Not since mid-2010 — in the midst of the home buyer tax credits — have we seen this group so bullish on housing. It’s refreshing to see this optimism at a time when the market seems to be making an organic recovery, in the absence of an artificial stimulant like the tax credits."

The most optimistic quartile of panelists predicts a 4.4% home price increase in 2012, on average, while the most pessimistic predict an average increase of 0.3%. 

Additionally, respondents overwhelmingly favor changes to the mortgage interest deduction. Ten percent believe it should be eliminated as soon as possible; 50% believe it should be eliminated, but phased out gradually; and 30% believe it should remain, but that more restrictions should be placed on eligibility. Only 11% believe it should remain as-is.

"Although the mortgage interest deduction remains enormously popular with existing and aspiring homeowners, it costs the federal government about $90 billion a year," said Pulsenomics founder Terry Loebs. "Time will tell whether the unprecedented fiscal challenges facing the U.S. coupled with a housing market now on the mend will embolden more policymakers to touch this lightning rod."

The panel also weighed in on expectations for the housing policies of the presidential candidates and the exercise of eminent domain to seize mortgages secured by underwater homes. Responses are below.

 

Additional details regarding this portion of the survey are available at pulsenomics.com.

The Home Price Expectations Survey, now in its 14th edition, was conducted from Aug. 30 to Sept. 14 by Pulsenomics on behalf of Zillow, Inc.

For full survey results and graphics, visit Zillow Real Estate Research at zillow.com/blog/research or pulsenomics.com.

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Behr unveils Premium Plus Ultra

BY HBSDealer Staff

Behr Process Corp. has announced its new Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer in One is now available through its professional products and services program, BehrPro. The high-performance coating combines a multi-purpose primer with paint to offer stain-blocking attributes.

"BehrPro strives to help professionals build better businesses and our new Interior Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer in One provides a one solution formula for professionals seeking an efficient, long-lasting product," said Colin Jaffe, senior VP operations for professional products and services at Behr. "Using our improved Premium Plus Ultra, professionals will be able to finish projects — ranging from large multi-family housing paint work to handling small residential touch-ups — in fewer coats while still providing outstanding protection that lasts longer and satisfies clients’ expectations." 

The products seals and protects uncoated and previously painted surfaces without the need for a separate primer. In addition, the 100% acrylic and low-VOC formula — available in a wide variety of sheens, including flat enamel, eggshell, satin and semi-gloss — incorporates an antimicrobial-mildew resistant finish, and provides scuff-, stain- and mark-resistance, as well as improved tannin-blocking for a tough, durable finish that is easy to clean.

Behr Premium Plus Ultra Interior Stain-Blocking Paint & Primer in One is MPI X-Green certified, Greenguard Indoor Air Quality certified, Greenguard Children & School certified, and verified formaldehyde free by Greenguard. It also complies with the Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) guidelines and contributes to LEED certification points. The paint line is currently available at The Home Depot and through BehrPro’s Direct to ProSM service — a suite of tools and services designed to help professionals efficiently and cost-effectively manage their businesses.  

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Mythic Paint chooses brand ambassador

BY HBSDealer Staff

Mythic Paint has announced that interior designer Cathy Hobbs (ASID/LEED AP), founder and creator of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes, has been named as its new exclusive brand ambassador. Hobbs is a five-time Emmy Award-winning television personality and will be promoting the brand’s high-performance, non-toxic paint.  Her new color collection, Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes, contains 12 specialty colors hand selected by Cathy Hobbs.

"Cathy is the perfect choice to speak directly about Mythic’s superior colors and the premium performance properties," said Keir Kleinknecht, president of Mythic Paint.  "As a nationally recognized interior designer specializing in sustainable design it’s a perfect fit for Mythic!" 

Hobbs was a finalist on Season 6 of HGTV’s Hit Reality Series "Design Star" and has been featured on such programs as "The Nate Berkus Show," "HGTV’s Top Ten" and "Martha Stewart Living-Radio," and is a regular contributor to the shelter sites Sheknows.com, Shoptopia, CottonCandy Magazine and ehow.

In addition, she is the founder of Cathy Hobbs Design Recipes, which is a boutique style full-service design firm.

Hobbs is a LEED AP, recognized and credentialed by The U.S. Green Building Council for her exceptional expertise and knowledge of Green and Sustainable design and is the only Green Home Stager in New York City. She is also an NCIDQ certificate holder.

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