Homes are affordable (but few are buying)
Homes are affordable (but few are buying)
It's one of the most sensible times to buy a home, given that affordability in a growing number of U.S. housing markets has returned to pre-bubble levels. But however much prices have fallen, weak sales continue to plague the housing market.

In April, purchases dropped 0.8% to 50.5 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, inventories of existing homes for sale jumped 9.9% to 3.8 million -- slightly more than nine month's supply.

Stricter lending standards on new mortgages and high unemployment have made it harder for many to buy homes. And the continuing onslaught of foreclosures hasn't helped make buying very appealing. So even if home prices are expected to fall further, it's clear there much bigger hurdles at work.

Last updated May 31 2011: 11:33 AM ET

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