Since 2008, we have seen a rapid decline of available home loan programs due to the credit crisis. No longer are banks allowed to give out mortgages with unverified income. And the days of no-down payment loans are over. There is a duality to this tightening of credit. The tigthening of credit has made it harder to buy a home. However, at the same time, real estate is as cheap as ever to own. The US Federal Housing Finance Agency puts the February 2011 housing price index at 181.8, which puts it at the same level January 2004.