HOUSING: Better to Buy Now Than Wait Till Later

Like most people, Manhattan attorney Michael Carter looked long and hard before buying a home. Last month his winter-long search finally paid off and Carter signed for a new five-bedroom contemporary house in fashionable Fairfield County, Conn. He was not alone. With personal income rising, and lenders flush with mortgage money, Americans all across the country are streaming back into the housing market, accelerating a two-year recovery that now shows signs of ripening into an authentic boom.

Figures released last week by the Commerce Department show the magnitude of the trend. New...

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