Well, it appears the operative question is "who do you want to believe?" Not to be facetious, but you literally can pick almost any scenario you wish--just choose your latest report, the mortgage rates, Bernanke, jobs or industrial output as a sign of what's happening in the market and base your comments and/or plan on that. Recently, just after a somewhat positive comment by yours truly on the housing market, new monthly stats came out showing both sales and prices were dropping again in a turnaround from a month earlier. Since then (about a week or so ago), a variety of statistics that can and do affect the housing market have been released. Jobless rates nationally seem to have stayed stagnant, with a slight increase in first time jobless claims. Not a good thing for housing. In contrast to that, there has been an increase in durable goods sales, such as appliances and automobiles, and that would bode well for the economy and housing as people don't buy these things if they're unemployed or worried about the economy. If they're optimistic, so the reasoning goes, then they're also likely to be in a home buying frame of mind.
Chairman Bernanke says the economy is overall softer than the Fed expected, but he can neither explain why nor predict how long this situation will continue.
So, it comes down to, "You make your choice and follow that path." So, what choice do you make? Well, rates are still at historic lows and no immediate signs of increasing. Bernanke made it very clear that there will be no rate increases until the Fed is convinced that the economy is on a solid upward move. So, if you're a buyer, this continues to be a great time to get out and buy!
If you're thinking of selling, the low rates will act as a spur for people interested in your home, and will also allow you to give serious thought to buying the replacement for your present home. The only issue for you may be how much you can get for your home. What we're seeing locally on the market is that, even though statistically, prices dropped last month, it is still very much a case by case, home by home situation, and some homes are, in fact, holding up fairly well as compared with their lows of 2-3 years ago.
If you have any questions, please don't be shy. Give us a call--we'd be happy to chat and advise you, not only as to the value of your home, but also about the market in general.