Home prices continue to show healthy increases across the U.S. this year. Average property values are 5.5 percent higher over the last twelve months, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price
Nineteen out of 20 cities where S&P/Case-Shiller collects data experienced higher real estate prices over the last year. Some areas which previously had seen greater weakness in values are rebounding
For example, prices in Phoenix have gone up almost 23 percent over the past twelve months, says S&P/Case-Shiller. “Housing is clearly recovering,” adds an S&P/Case-Shiller official.
“Prices are rising as are both new and existing home sales,” he adds. Sales of pre-owned homes recently reached their largest monthly total in three years.
Sales of new homes also hit their highest point since June 2010. New home sales are particularly important for the economy as a whole.
Jobs are created for the people who construct these residences. New homes also require a lot of materials – ranging from windows and carpets to lumber and pipes – and those purchases further strengthen the economy.
A BETTER PICTURE
A forecast from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) calls for “a return to normalcy” in real estate markets this year. Both prices and sales will go up, NAR predicts, as rising demand causes the number of homes available for purchase to shrink.
U.S. home sales rose more than nine percent in 2012, NAR reports. Similar gains are expected this year as low rates, great prices, and more jobs make buying possible for many families.les, according to NAR.
Increased buyer interest also is sparking home sales, as an estimated one million new households were created last year. That’s 75 percent higher than the average growth in households from 2007 to 2011.
Surveys of real estate agents indicate that homes are selling faster and market conditions are improving. “Interest rates are expected to remain low,” adds NAR, “though inflation could put upward pressure on both rates and home prices.”