While the 2017 housing market was marked by renewed optimism fueled by stock market strength, higher wages and a competitive environment for home sales, 2018 delivered a more seasoned prudence toward residential real estate. Home buyers, now steeped in several years of rising prices and low inventory, became more selective in their purchase choices as housing affordability achieved a ten-year low. Yet the appetite for home buying remained strong enough to drive prices upward in virtually all markets across the country. In fact, national home prices have risen 53 percent from February 2012 to September 2018. That mark is a less dramatic but still sizable 40 percent increase when inflation is factored in. The national median household income was last reported with a year-over-year increase of 1.8 percent, while home prices have gone up 5.5 percent in roughly the same amount of time. That kind of gap can't be sustained indefinitely, but prices are still expected to rise in most areas, albeit at a much slower pace. Read the full report here.