If you believe the latest headlines, the economy fluctuates from recovery to ruin on a weekly basis. In reality, real estate is cyclical, and the market is on its way to recovery in most areas.  Although you may feel nervous about home ownership, property is still your best long-term investment.  

In more than two-thirds of the country, housing affordability has dipped to pre-housing bubble levels, creating opportunities for those looking for a bargain.  According to an article in the June 4, 2011 Wall Street Journal, home pricesThe Impending Housing Shortage are expected to rise in 2013 due to fewer distressed sales and the impending housing shortage.  Some areas are already showing a rise in prices.  

Based on reports from the National Association of Realtors and the Wall Street Journal report, the median home price is 3.4 times the median household income.  While this is 20.9% lower than the average from 1995-2010, it's more in line with the average from 1980-2000.  

The National Association of Realtors goes on to say a major advantage of homeownership is building equity.  The average seller who purchased a home in 2002 gained 24% in equity, while those who purchased their homes 11 to 15 years ago had a median gain of 40%.

Mortgage rates have to decreased to fifty year lows!  This with home prices down, makes home affordability the best it has been in forty years.  This is amazing.  Can one afford to rent?

Home Buyer Demographics: In 2010, according to the National Association of Realtors, 20% of home buyers were single women and 12% were single men.  Additionally, 36% of bjuyers were under the age of 35 in 2010 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  

Read more about the possible Impending Housing Shortage.