Thornberg hasn’t been a big cheerleader, so this report is curiousfrom the U-T:

County home prices, which began to recover last year, will continue rising but at a slowing pace as government stimulus programs expire, Beacon Economics forecasters predicted Friday.

In a wide-ranging review of the local economy at the San Diego Hilton Torrey Pines, the San Rafael consulting firm’s economists said single-family resale home prices will trend upward, from the first quarter’s median of $382,788 to $439,000 over the next four years — a nearly 15 percent rise.

“Home prices in San Diego are great news here,” said Brad Kemp, Beacon’s director of regional research.

But the recent increases occurred with the help of federal stimulus dollars, not because of any underlying economic fundamentals, such as significant job or population growth that would spark long-term demand, the economists said.

With foreclosures expected to increase, home-buying incentives expiring and nearly a third of all homes worth less than their mortgage balance, Kemp said sales and price growth will slow down. The $439,000 median price forecast for 2014 would still be 23 percent below the 2006 peak of $571,580.

“I don’t think it will grow at an exponential pace anytime soon,” he said.

The forecast falls in line with other economists and real estate industry analysts, who have predicted a leveling off of prices or a drop of as much as 5 percent for the rest of the year, after federal homebuyer tax credits and low interest rates end. An expected increase in foreclosure properties also is expected to keep a damper on prices.

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