By Diana Olick, CNBC Real Estate Reporter NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- Nobody wants to catch a falling knife. It is as simple as that. If potential buyers see continued home price erosion, they will stay parked on the sidelines. But as with everything else in this unique and historic housing market, perhaps the usual logic doesn't apply. "Housing is one of the great investments right now. I tell people all the time when they come up to me, they say, "What should I do, Mr. Trump?" I say go buy a house," said Donald Trump earlier today on CNBC. "It wouldn't be an obvious mistake to buy a house now," hedged Robert Shiller, barely a few hours later.
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The $250,000 to $500,000 price range may now be the sweet spot for the market. Sales in January were up in this price range, and if you have good credit, you are within GSE and FHA loan limits in most markets. While FHA just raised its insurance premiums, which may hurt much-needed first-time homebuyer demand, it is still one of the best loan products out there today, especially for those with lower down payments. You cannot time housing any more than you can time the stock market. True, housing moves far more slowly, but that works to its benefit, as prices don't rise and fall on daily news or even on major events. Sales have clearly bottomed in housing, and prices always lag sales. They will lag longer this time around, no question, but they will come back. Supply and demand will eventually win out, even after an historic crash. If you can't get a good mortgage now, then perhaps it's not your time, but if you can, waiting may not buy you much. --Written by Diana Olick at CNBC.