Buying a House: Take Your Time This Spring

buying a house
buying a house

Spring is near, which means the official home-buying season is upon us. But buying a house this spring might be more complicated than most. Joseph Lazzaro of our sister site,, explains why you might want to postpone your buying decsion for a couple months.

If you're in the market for a home this season, and your real estate agent calls or e-mails saying "now's the time to buy," reply that you'll get back to her in a few months or so. That's how long it'll probably take before we can determine if the U.S. housing sector will remain in a sluggish, uneven recovery or whether something worse is in store.

Here's an evaluation of the latest housing reports, from the most sobering to most encouraging.

The Case-Shiller Chiller

The most distressing recent report has to be the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Survey, whose 20-city index declined a seasonally adjusted 0.4% in December from November, and 2.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Home prices as measured by Case-Shiller have now declined for five straight months -- erasing almost all of their gains since the recession ended in June 2009.

Originally published