On September 22, we officially said goodbye to summer and hello to autumn. Now, granted, most parts of California may not enjoy the typical autumn pastime of turning leaves and the ceremonial exchange of shorts and flip flops for wool jackets and scarves—though, god knows, we try. (We’re talking to you, unnecessary scarf-wearers in L.A.!) But we do have the autumn pastime of football. Whether you consider yourself a 49ers fan or a Bruins fan (yes, we know we’re mixing the NFL with the NCAA), it’s that time of year when we don our favorite jerseys and head straight to our neighborhood sports bars, tail gates or our couches for some good ol’ fashioned American football watching.

Few things bring us back to cozy thoughts of home than a ball game. It’s the camaraderie. The food. The beer. The spirit of competition. The joy of sitting back in our favorite recliner in our living rooms, watching the Crimson Tide kick some Sun Devil boot-ay. Did we mention beer?

Since we’re currently obsessed with the autumn sport, we decided to keep the metaphor going for just a little while longer as we talk about our other favorite topic: real estate. Now, we could discuss fumbles, passes, “sneaks” and other cliches as it relates to California housing—but we decided to run a different sort of play. We’re keeping a running tally of the latest real estate headlines that are either “good news” for buyers or “good news” for sellers. And if it’s a draw? Let’s just call it what it is: a tie. Of course, the question of who has the advantage in the real estate marketplace all depends on where you happen to be located—but it sure is fun to keep track!

Advantage: Buyers

Buyers in California could get a break, thanks to home sales falling 5% in August from July and the Fed’s recent decision to maintain its massive bond-buying program—which should send mortgage rates lower. The Los Angeles Times examines.

Looking to buy in Orange County? The good ol’ O.C. is moving away from “a sizzling hot seller’s market with rapid appreciation to a cost conscious cooler market,” finds the Orange County Register.

“We expect to see price increases moderate in the next few years as we see additional inventory on the market and investors back away as the bargains disappear,” according to NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe.

Advantage: Sellers

More than half of Americans are confident that home prices will go up over the next 12 months, says HousingWire.

The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. home prices rose by their fastest pace in more than seven years during July. 

Prices are going up, up, up, according to CNBC

Did we say prices are going up? Well, NAR agrees. They expect the national median existing-home price to rise 11-12% for all of 2013, in fact.

“Moving forward, we expect lower levels of existing-home sales, but tight inventory in many markets will continue to push up home prices in the months ahead,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist in Bloomberg News.

Tie

Bubble? What bubble? Softening prices signal a “healthier market,” reports HousingWire

Builders are building, sellers are selling and mortgage lenders are less anxious about lending. Yep…the housing market is still on track for recovery, says the New York Times.

Who do you think will take the market all…the…way this year?