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Of the forty-nine economists who responded to a monthly Wall Street Journal forecasting survey, 65 percent believe the worst of the housing bust is “behind us,” while 35 percent believe the worst is yet to come.

The survey, accessible only to WSJ subscribers, also cites the majority of economists predicting that the average home price will continue to fall in 2007.

Here’s a breakdown of their price forecast:

While 20 economists predicted home prices would rise next year, 24 forecast a decline. Just eight of the economists forecast gains greater than 2.1%, which is their average forecast for consumer-price inflation through mid-2007. The Ofheo index, which is closely watched by economists, has never posted a year-to-year decline.

In September, I included statistics from the WSJ survey for that month in the story I wrote about the housing slowdown’s impact on the construction industry. You can read that story here.

KELLY BENNETT

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