The consensus among analysts seems to be that the housing market has finally bottomed out, baring an economic shock.
Industry metrics and broader economic indicators are pointing towards an upswing. As a result, home sales and home building is forecast to rise in 2012. Investors are sharing the optimism: home builder stocks are outperforming the broader stock market.
However, home prices are still expected to fall in 2012: "This year will feel a lot better to builders, investors and real estate agents than to consumers," says Jed Kolko, economist for real estate website Trulia.