In order to gauge how affordable it is for you to buy a home, you have to factor in a number of different variables. How much money you’ve saved and how much you earn are part of the equation, as are current mortgage rates. But home prices may be the most important factor. Home prices are an easy-to-understand indicator of where things are headed in the housing market and how it might affect your buying options. So what do home prices look like today? Well, one way to get an accurate read of where prices are is to check the S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. Considered the leading measure of U.S. home prices, the index has been tracking home values for more than 27 years. According to their latest release, the news is good for prospective buyers. That’s because, while home prices are still increasing, they’re moving higher at a slower and slower pace. Philip Murphy, managing director and global head of index governance at S&P Dow Jones Indices, says the trend is pretty consistent. “Home price gains continued in a trend of broad-based moderation,” Murphy said. “Year-over-year price gains remain positive in most cities, though at diminishing rates of change.” In other words, home price increases are becoming smaller and, as long as mortgage rates remain low, summer home buyers should find affordability conditions favorable. More here.