It's been a topic that has been whispered over and over again for the past couple of years. People have been speculating when the "bottom" of the market will actually be considered the bottom. Some markets have seen double dips, triple dips and even quadruple dips in falling home prices.
Finally, numbers are in and are showing that the low prices are going away. Values in the majority of marketplaces are showing slow and steady growth. Several economists and real estate experts agree.
Home values in DFW have risen slightly in the last quarter and home sales are at 2007 numbers. It appears that it may finally be safe to say that the bottom has, in fact, bottomed out.
By Les Christie
Buying a home may never get any cheaper than this. Several housing experts are predicting that this year will be the last chance for bargain hunters to cash in on the best deals of the weak housing market.
With home prices down 34% nationally since 2006 and mortgage rates at historic lows, homes have never been more affordable -- but it won't stay this way for much longer.
Stuart Hoffman, chief economist for PNC Financial Services, said he expects home prices to flatten out by the third quarter and start climbing by next year.
A number of factors will help bolster the housing market, he said, including a decline in the number of foreclosures and continued job growth. In addition, homebuyers will have better access to mortgages as they get their finances in order and improve their credit scores.
"This is a strong indicator that we will start seeing home price indexes, like the S&P/Case-Shiller, start to report home price increases this summer," he said.
Prospective homebuyers who've been sitting on the fence shouldn't worry if they aren't quite ready to make the leap. Analysts are predicting that the initial price gains will be modest, at least, in most markets.