2006 was the year that the national housing market slowed. However, what happens on the national level doesn't necessarily translate to local markets, which vary considerably from one another. In some areas, the housing market started looking like a normal market in 2006. In other areas, it became a buyer's market. Some areas, such as El Paso, Texas, and Salt Lake City, Utah, defied the national trend and showed sizable home-price increases in 2006. No one knows for sure where the market will go from here. For areas where appreciation in recent years has been strong, the best-case scenario is that home prices will advance in the low single-digit range for perhaps several years. The worst-case prognosis for the hot market areas of 2004 and 2005 is that prices might drop before the...
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