Real Estate Review

A new year brings renewed optimism




Happy New Year! We in the real estate industry are very happy to ring in 2013. Many real estate industry watchers and economists agree that the real estate market is once again a bright spot in the economy as existing home sales continue to improve.

According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), total existing-home sales in November rose 5.9 percent from October, and are 14.5 percent higher than November 2011 nationally. Additionally, the national median existing-home price for all housing types in November was up 10.1 percent from November 2011. This is the ninth consecutive monthly year-over-year price gain. You can read more in NAR’s most recent news release.

One question is still at the forefront of many minds. Will the housing market continue to improve in 2013? It’s not easy to predict what the market will do in the coming year. However, there are some key indicators to follow, and the indicators are positive.

Most agree that growth in the housing market is largely based on the stability of the job market. As reported in Bloomberg, the U.S. Labor Department announced that applications for unemploymentinsurance payments fell in the week ending Dec. 22, bringing the average over the past month to the lowest level in more than four years.

Lower mortgage rates and higher rents continue to bring more buyers into the market. Buyers also want to take advantage of lower home prices before they rise. Increasingly low levels of inventory are also pushing prices higher as bidding wars and competition escalate.

For buyers, the message is clear. If you want to own a home, you should act now. The factors are currently in your favor.

For home sellers, the time to sell could be in your favor as well. With lower levels of inventory, you face less competition. With prices steadily rising, you may find yourself in a position to take advantage of increasing equity.

It’s important to discuss these factors if you are in the process of buying or selling a home, so please feel free to contact me. I can explain how pending sales, mortgage rates and inventory levels will impact your home buying or selling goals.

I look forward to assisting you with all of your real estate needs in 2013 and beyond. Happy New Year!

The Observer Staff