There's no guarantee, of course, that home prices will escape another dip next year, especially if there's a recession or any sort of economic slowdown. And it may take some time for real estate prices to recover fully. But for people who can afford to buy a home and expect to stay in it for at least a decade, there's a compelling argument that the current housing market offers an exceptional opportunity. Consider these five factors:
1. Buying a home right now is cheaper than renting.
2. The mortgage interest deduction is unlikely to be eliminated.
3. Home prices are very cheap but appear to be past a bottom (at least in the East side, it has increased 7% to 18% this year).
4. Eventual economic recovery will almost certainly boost housing prices.
5. A substantial amount of inflation seems likely at some point (take advantage of the low interest rate now).