Home price rebound? Not exactly ...

Aug. 31, 2010 at 3:56 PM ET

The headlines on housing today offered some good news about home prices: they rose in June for the third straight month.
But while the view in the rear-view mirror was hopeful, the road ahead looks pretty rocky.
June, you’ll recall, was the last month the government offered an $8,000 tax credit to first time homebuyers, sending house hunters flocking to the market. Unfortunately, home sales fell 34 percent after the credit expired. Some housing analysts worry that the credit just sped up sales that would have happened anyway, stealing demand from the second half of the year.
The Obama administration has not decided whether it should resurrect a popular tax credit for first-time homebuyers, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said on Sunday.
With more than 12 months worth of inventory looking for buyers, foreclosures are still flooding the market with new homes. And the stubbornly high unemployment rate is keeping millions of potential homebuyers on the sidelines. All of which could send house prices back down again.
There are several measures of national and regional home prices. The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday showed a 1 percent increase in June from May and a 4.2 percent gain. from a year ago Nationwide, the average price of home has risen 6 percent from April, 2009, when the index hit bottom bottom. But that’s still 28 percent below the July, 2006 peak.
Something to keep in mind if you’re trying to sell your house. If you do find a potential buyer, be prepared to price aggressively.
You’ll also have to get creative about trying to stick out among the pack. For some ideas about on selling your house in a lousy market, check out this story by my Msnbc.com colleague Allison Linn, who polled real estate agents in several markets for their best advice
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