Housing sales are up and the amount of listings being lower than they were one year ago in Moscow. This indicates a healthy real estate market in this area.
If you plan to be in Moscow for six years, it might be a better financial option to buy rather than sell. I would recommend that you meet with a local realtor and both options can be discussed.
I'm moving back to the area in a couple of months from Arizona and will be paying cash for a home; I will not be living in Moscow....
In reference to your question "Are market prices expected to go up or down?"; the answer is "Definitely". Real estate is cyclical and prices go up and down and on overage have increased 3.8% annually for over 100 years. Therefore, if you bought a $100,000 property that compounded at 3.8% a year, you would have a home worth over $125,000 in six years.
It is always best to research the exact price range and type of property to make sure the fundamental economic principles apply (supply and demand, absorption rates, etc.).
A good local Realtor should be able to help you research this specifically. You might want to consider buying a duplex or fourplex so that your tenants would pay most of your payment and you might be able to live rent free!
If you plan on staying in Moscow six years, it may be a better financial decision to buy rather than rent. There are so many different loan programs to explore and consider. I would suggest you meet with a local realtor and ask him/her to show you the benefits of both. With that information you will be able to make an educated decision on what is best for you.