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The good news, housing is up. The bad news, you still don't get one.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
February 5th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

If you have been waiting to buy a home, you may have missed the boat, at least at the lowest prices. Prices posted record gains in December fueling speculation of another boom in the market. However, market conditions still keep many from buying.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Housing booms are typically good for the economy and a sign of good times, but Americans were so badly burned the last time around, that caution is the watchword now.

California home prices jumped 12.6 percent compared to December, 2011, making the state's prices some of the highest in the nation again. Economists say there's real substance behind the rise, with strengthening fundamentals.

However, strengthening prices are also likely to invite speculators. If the long-term prognosis is continued growth, speculators may enter the market in a fresh wave, looking to make money on quick turnarounds.

Such an influx of speculators would drive home prices up further.

Currently, investors are buying homes at a competitive rate, with traditional homeowners still struggling to buy. And with supply of new and existing homes dropping and demand increasing, prices will only rise. Unfortunately, the average working-class American will still face an uphill battle to buy a home, unless he has good credit and is willing to settle.

Difficult lending terms make it hard for many buyers to obtain financing and existing owners are more likely to sell to investors who have cash on hand, cutting out banks altogether.

If this bears out, then the boom may be a bust of another sort for many working-class Americans.

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