What to Expect for Stocks, Housing and Oil Prices in 2015

Photo (cc) by marko8904

It’s a January tradition: Every year Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson asks a few folks on the street their predictions for how key components of the economy, the stock market, oil and housing prices, will do in the new year.

Watch the video below to see what our Main Street and Wall Street prognosticators are saying is in store in 2015. And then keep reading to learn more about how experts expect the economy will perform in the new year.


Falling oil prices were a surprise gift to American consumers late last year. The average U.S. price for a gallon of regular gas Wednesday was $2.191, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report (use the clickable map for prices by state). Last year at that time, we were paying $3.314 a gallon on average.

Neither amateurs nor expert forecasters saw a big price drop coming. The U.S. Energy Information Administration predicted oil prices of $95 a barrel in 2014. Stacy talked with a consumer who expected oil would cost on average more than $100 a barrel in 2014. The price of crude was $51 Wednesday.

What’s next for oil? It’s anyone’s guess. Stacy recently talked with a consumer who expects oil will cost $90 a barrel by year’s end. That’s not likely, experts say:

  • The Energy Information Administration predicts oil will cost on average $62.75 a barrel in 2015.
  • CNBC said HSBC forecasts $95 a barrel in late 2015, and that Morgan Stanley expects $70 a barrel in 2015 but also said prices could fall to $43.
  • One expert told CNN Money that prices could fall below $40.

What’s this mean to you and me? If crude oil were to cost $40 a barrel, pump prices for a gallon of regular gas would average roughly $1.80, CNN Money says. While cheaper gas prices are good to a point, the U.S. is a big oil producer, and if oil becomes too cheap it could hurt the economy.

Home prices

Home prices on average rose in 2014. These two S&P/Case Shiller home price indices show the national picture:

  • The S&P/Case Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index found prices rose 4.5 percent in key metropolitan areas.
  • The S&P/Case Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index came to the same conclusion: Prices rose 4.6 percent nationally in 2014.

Can housing prices continue to rise? National Public Radio cites reasons for optimism for moderate growth:

  • Hiring is up. Unemployment is at 5.8 percent, down from 10 percent in the recession. More jobs mean more paychecks, some of which may be put to use buying homes. Also, a growing economy gives homebuyers confidence.
  • Rents are high and going higher. The housing crash created more renters. That means more competition for rentals, which keeps pushing up rent costs. Depending where you live, buying can look good in comparison. As we pointed out last year, buying is expensive but renting can be even worse.
  • The feds have made owning easier. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac recently dropped their minimum down payment requirements. Now, first-time buyers and others can buy a home with down payments as low as 3 percent. NPR quotes a Fannie Mae survey saying 9 in 10 young people want to own homes.

Forbes reported, “Zillow predicts home prices will rise just 2.5 percent in 2015; Realtor.com predicts an annual gain of 4 percent to 5 percent.” Stacy’s consumer predicted about 5 percent.


Can stocks beat their 2014 performance? Last year the S&P 500 Index grew 11.4 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal. Include dividends, and the market index gained 15 percent, Bloomberg says.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a record 18,000 in late December but has fallen recently.

Forecasters are upbeat about the market’s prospects in 2015. Stacy’s person on the street predicts stocks will do even better this year: “up 15 percent.”

Experts see growth, too, but at a slower pace:

The S&P 500 rose a total of 63.7 percent in the last three years, MoneyBeat says. But the U.S. economy isn’t bulletproof: Europe’s economy is weak, China’s previously robust economic growth is slowing down, and U.S. interest rates are likely to begin rising in 2015.

What do you think will happen with stocks, housing and the price of oil in 2015? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
11 Secret Uses for Everyday Items That Save Money

These are simple solutions for life’s irritations.

33 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100

A little money goes a long way with these imaginative projects. You can do most of them yourself.

7 Surprising Benefits of Staying Fit in Retirement

Improving your overall physical health is just one reason to stay active after 50.

7 Gadgets Under $60 That Can Boost Your Health

These Amazon finds can help ease foot aches, boost energy and even protect your heart.

7 Social Security Blunders That Can Ruin Your Retirement

Making even one of these mistakes can easily cost you tens of thousands of dollars.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

8 Tips for Retiring Comfortably on Social Security Alone

It’s never too early to start learning how to live well while living on less.

Am I Eligible for My Mother’s Social Security Benefit?

Can an adult daughter tap into her late mother’s benefit?

11 Generic Products You Should Buy at Costco

Not all generics are worthwhile, but these are among the best from Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand.

The Next 5 Groups Who Will Get the COVID-19 Vaccine

The CDC has unveiled a schedule that likely will determine who gets the next doses.

9 Things You’ll Never See at Costco Again

The warehouse store offers an enormous selection, but these products aren’t coming back.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

This Surprise Factor Can Raise Your Risk of Dementia

Nearly half of U.S. residents may face this threat.

Organize Your Home With These 10 Thrift Store Finds

Resolve to be clutter-free in 2021 with these secondhand purchases.

This Gas Station Scam Is Victimizing More Drivers

For the second straight year, a growing number of Americans believe they’ve fallen prey to this scam.

11 Laws You Could Be Breaking Without Knowing It

Seriously? Fibbing about the weather is a crime? This and other little-known legal traps await the unwary.

These Are the 3 Best Used Cars You Can Buy

These vehicles boast reliability, safety and long-lasting value.

6 Legal Documents Retirees Need — but Don’t Have

Few retirees have all of these documents that are crucial to their golden years — especially during a pandemic.

13 Things Seniors Can Get for Free — or Almost Free

There are many ways to get cheap or free services and goods after reaching a certain age.

Internet Providers Can’t Charge You for This Anymore

Starting this month, your ISP no longer can bill you for this fee.

Can a Divorced Widow Claim Her First Husband’s Social Security Benefits?

The rules are complicated when it comes to eligibility for survivors benefits.

9 Small Expenses That Are Bleeding Your Budget Dry

Keep more of future paychecks by eliminating these budget-busting unnecessary expenses.

15 Painless Ways You Can Cut Costs in 2021

Follow these tips to save, so you’ll have money for things that really matter.

11 Huge Retirement Costs That Are Often Overlooked

Does your retirement budget account for all of these costs?

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.