Out of 28 economists polled by Reuters, half said that home prices had already hit bottom or would by the end of this year. The polled economists also projected a smaller decline in prices this year than in earlier polls and, according to the median forecast, a bigger gain in values for 2012. Economists expect a modest improvement in existing-home sales for the first and second quarter of next year and a gradual decline in the number of foreclosed homes. Still, the housing market’s recovery is largely dependent on the performance of the broader economy and the labor market, despite high affordability and historically low mortgage rates. More here.