A couple of stories speculating the future of the California housing market popped up in newspapers today.

This one, in the San Francisco Chronicle, included the forecast issued by a University of California, Berkeley, economist that the state won’t see full recovery in the housing market for a few years.

“This is not a one-year event and this is not a six-month event,” [UC Berkeley professor Ken] Rosen said. “It’s going to take three or four years for incomes to catch up to housing prices.”

Rosen predicted a 4.8 percent decline for the state’s median home price in 2007, followed by a 2.9 percent drop the next year. He made his predictions at a real estate summit yesterday.

That outlook is decidedly gloomier than yesterday’s release from the National Association of Realtors, which predicted a decline of just 2 percent statewide for next year.

The NAR release showed “relative strength in California housing,” according to a story in the LA Times today. That story attributes the state’s relative stability in prices to a few things – a “healthy economy,” “lack of overbuilding” and “the relative strength of the $2-million-and-above home market.”

You can read the full NAR release, which showed the first quarterly nationwide home price drop in 13 years, by clicking here.


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