If you're shopping for a house to buy, you're probably concerned about affordability. After all, even in a buyer's market, house hunters have an interest in getting the best deal. Which means, most prospective home buyers have an eye on home prices and where they're headed. In today's market, the best way to get a feel for what's happening with home values is to look at inventory. That's because, prices have been increasing lately due to the fact that there are more buyers than there are homes for sale. And the quickest way to slow down rising prices is to build more homes. That's why the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development's new residential construction statistics for July offer some encouraging news. According to the report, permits to build new homes are now 4.2 percent higher than at the same time last year. And, since building permits are a good indicator of future home construction, that means home builders are building more homes, which could mean a better balanced market and more choices for buyers. More here.