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The following is an excerpt from an July 28 article on the Christian Science Monitor's "The New Economy" blog. Stan Longhofer, director of Wichita State University's Center for Real Estate, contributed to the article.

US home prices rise. Is it time to buy?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 | Share

It's been asked so often in the past year, it's become a cliche: Is it finally time to buy a house?

Now, maybe, the answer is yes.

Average home prices in the United States are now stabilizing after more than two years of decline, which means buyers can lock in a good deal before prices rise significantly. Last week, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that prices increased 1 percent between April and May. On Tuesday, the more widely watched S&P/Case-Shiller index confirmed it, posting the first rise in its 20-city survey in 34 months.

Mortgage rates are low. Housing affordability is near record levels. And sentiment among housing experts is turning more bullish.

"If you're looking at the national average, I really do expect that we will see an increase in the Case-Shiller index going forward," says Stan Longhofer, director of the Center for Real Estate at Wichita State University, in an interview.
 
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Created on Tuesday, July 28, 2009; Last modified on Tuesday, July 28, 2009