Yes, according to investment bank Barclays Capital analyst Stephen Kim, who predicts a housing recovery driven by improved jobs numbers and stabilized nondistressed home prices.

The key to the rebound equation, however, is nondistressed home prices stabilizing without government support. Kim explains in a recent HousingWire article. “In the absence of government homebuyer incentives, prices for non-distressed home sales have stabilized for almost a year. This is the most important trend in the housing industry right now, and we are amazed at how little attention it has been getting from the media and the street. This stability on the part of nondistressed prices has occurred despite a very high share of distressed activity and continued declines in overall prices.”

Kim also points to increased job creation in November, a rise in housing starts and improved homebuyer traffic, are all economic indicators pointing to potential improvement in the sector.

When the federal homebuyer tax credit expired in mid-2010, the housing market was left “without training wheels for the first time since the 2008 economic meltdown” but prices remained stable.

Due to their new industry outlook, Barclays has upgraded national home builder D.R. Horton’s stock to buy and raised price targets for other national home builders, D.R. Horton, Lennar Toll Brothers and Meritage Homes. Barclays also raised its 2012 earnings-per-share estimates for D.R. Horton, Lennar, Meritage Homes, Pulte and Toll Brothers.

Kim concludes with “the key to timing housing’s recovery” is primarily dependent on when first-time buyers feel it is safe to buy a home.

What are you seeing? Do you think these indicators are holding true with Atlanta real estate? How much stock do you put in the hands of first time buyers for a recovery, and do you think that government staying out of the way is the key to a rebound? Let us know!

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