The U.S. residential property prices seems to have hit bottom and may start going up again in the first half of 2011 as buyers take advantage of current lower prices.

This is the belief of economist Karl Case, co-founder of the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, which fell 1.6% in November 2010 from a year earlier. Prices fell in 16 of the 20 U.S. markets in the study, with eight reaching their lowest point since the housing boom in 2006 and 2007.

Case thinks that an expanding economy, the supply of inexpensive homes, growing consumer confidence and a slight dip in unemployment will help the market rebound as it enters spring, usually the time when the number of transactions are the highest.

More than 7,000 South Florida condos still on market

One of the eight markets that hit their lowest since the peak of house prices is Miami. According to South Florida real estate firm Condo Vultures, almost 7,400 condominiums that went up during the boom years are still unsold as of the end of 2010. They make up about 15% of the region's total new inventory created since 2003.