Home prices may not return to peak until 2023

Home prices are showing signs of life, but have a long way to go to make up for losses from the housing bust.

U.S. home prices dropped by a third from the start of 2007 to the start of 2012, according to Fiserv, an analytics firm.

Fiserv forecasts prices will bounce back an average of 3.7% a year for the next five years -- a rate that would still leave prices 20% below the peak. At that forecasted growth rate, the national average high of $238,000 would not be hit again until 2023.

It could take even longer in some areas. "In some hard-hit markets, prices could take decades to recover," said Fiserv economist David Stiff.

Among those facing a long haul: Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada, the states most caught up in the speculative feeding frenzy of the mid-2000s.

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Bob Young

Bob Young

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