There's no shortage of depressing numbers about the state of the nation's housing market. Home prices continue to fall, a key index showed Tuesday. Sales of new and existing homes recently declined. U.S. borrowers owe a collective $700 billion more on their mortgages than their homes are worth. Foreclosures are ramping up again in many places -- more than 25,000 Maryland homeowners have received notices this year.

Given those and other dismal statistics, it might seem surprising that experts such as Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi are increasingly optimistic.

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