Home prices fall: Can it really be all bad?

Economists and financial analysts watch the housing market carefully for clues about how the American economy as a whole is faring. The latest headlines are about falling home prices, and the hysteria is building. Yes, it's the 23rd month in a row that home prices either fell or didn't increase enough to please analysts. That's bad, right?

Well the housing market does give us some signals about our economy, and these numbers may be sign of weakness for Americans. (I don't think it's as serious as the media would have you think, but that's another article on another day.)

I prefer to look for the silver lining in this cloud. What a great time for bargain hunters to get a great deal on a house! Sure, falling home prices are bad for sellers who might end up upside down on mortgages or who might not profit the way they had hoped. But it's a great time for those who have been saving and planning for a home purchase to cash in. There are great deals to be had, and buyers have many choices in the marketplace. Happy house hunting!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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