It can be hard to get a grasp on what is happening in the housing market with the constant news updates about home sales, mortgage rates, and prices. Monthly housing reports can be volatile and can give a skewed view of where things are. They can also confuse and discourage potential home buyers. But you shouldn’t get down on yourself if you feel like you aren’t sure if now’s a good time to buy or sell a house. Instead, take a long view of the market to help put things in perspective. For example, recent research from Freddie Mac shows that sales of previously owned homes are up 2.1 percent so far this year and on pace for their best year since 2007. Mortgage rates are still historically low and expected to stay that way through the end of the year. And home prices continue to push upward – mostly due to the fact that, in many markets, there are fewer homes for sale than is typical. All in all, this means, heading into fall, the housing market will likely continue to see higher home prices being balanced by low mortgage rates. But, though affordability conditions may not change dramatically one way or the other, there will still be fewer homes for buyers to choose from – which means you’ll want to be ready to move quickly this fall, even if the market is less competitive than it was during the summer. More here.