We always talk about homeownership as being the American dream, but during the last decade people forgot it’s shelter and started thinking of it as a fast way to make or lose money. The quicker we move back to seeing real estate as a place to live, a place to put down roots, the quicker the housing recovery will strengthen.

Nicolas Retsinas, director of the Harvard University Joint Center for Housing Studies

It will be a long time before people think of owning a home as a good investment again. A lot of what drives housing is psychological, and right now there’s a distinct lack of confidence in real estate.

John Vogel, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

If you buy a home in Beverly Hills or an apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, over the next five and even 10 years you are going to do very well. The greatest threat to price growth in the New York area would be the diminution of Manhattan as a trading capital, and I don’t see that happening. It’s not just a question of sales and inventory — price growth also is based on population patterns, income growth and employment.

Steve Blitz, president of Pangea Market Advisory

After every major bust there is a rethinking of that asset class.  I think people will change their views about real estate and begin to look at it as a long-term investment that provides shelter, rather than a way to make a quick buck.

Joe Carson, head of global economic research at AllianceBernstein

The nightmare scenario for the Fed would be to see them try to sell their mortgage portfolio, and Congress steps in and tries to stop it on the grounds that the housing market hasn’t fully recovered. The attempts to influence the Fed in the exit strategy will be pretty strong.

Ethan Harris, head of North American Economics at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch

There is a question whether the housing market can survive when the fiscal props are pulled out.

Brian Bethune, chief financial economist at IHS Global Insight

When the Federal Reserve stops buying mortgages, is there private capital to substitute? At the moment, it is not certain.

Laurence Fink, BlackRock, in an interview with the Financial Times’ Martin Wolf broadcast on Bloomberg Television Oct. 28

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