By Les Christie@CNNMoneyMay 3, 2012: 11:48 AM ET
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — 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 (PNC, Fortune 500), said he expects home prices to flatten out by the third quarter and start climbing by next year. Some economists, like Trulia’s Jed Kolko, expect home prices to pick up even more quickly. Trulia’s data shows that the national average for asking prices already increased 1.4% in the first quarter of 2012, compared with the last three months of 2011.
Comments from Bob Karp of Karp Properties LLC: Are home prices still falling in the Sierra Vista, Hereford Arizona area? Yes, but not at a significant or fast pace. We are bumping along the “bottom” with some increase in sales in the under $200,000 price point. Indeed there have been sales in the $200,000 – $300,000 price range as well. However the strong start of the selling season in the months of March & April have given way to less showings at the beginning of May. For potential buyers the combination of historically low mortgage interest rates and very low prices make this a great time to BUY NOW.