Americans are increasingly nervous about the real estate market in 2007. They have good reason to be, businessWeek.com reports.


But the news isn't all bad: Interest rates will remain at historically low levels, homebuyers will see more opportunities, and, best of all, for those planning for the long term, 2009 could be primed for a comeback.


To gauge what the next 12 months might look like, though, BusinessWeek.com asked economists at leading real estate research firms to provide their outlooks for the housing market in 2007.


The less-than-festive consensus: Home prices will continue to fall in some markets, and the rate of price appreciation will slow in most places. Declines in homes sales, which directly influence price trends, will set the stage for another year of price decreases in 2008.


Foreclosures will continue to increase. For those struggling to hold onto their homes, their net worth will shrink as these homes lose value. Long-term mortgage rates will rise.


Housing starts will see double-digit depreciation, the sharpest decline since 1991, the worst year for housing starts on record.


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