Both home prices and home sales volumes increased steadily last year, making 2012 the first positive year for both prices and sales since the housing market crash, excluding gains induced by the home buyer tax credits in 2009 and 2010.
“Although some recent real estate activity has been speculative, it seems as if buyers have more realistic expectations about housing market returns after having lived through the largest housing market crash in U.S. history,” says David Stiff, chief economist, Fiserv.
The recovery in home prices has been solid and broad-based. At the end of the 2012 third quarter, prices were rising in approximately 62 percent of all U.S. metro areas, compared to 12.5 percent in the same period a year ago. Average U.S. home prices increased 3.6 percent from the third quarter of 2011 to the comparable period of 2012.
Fiserv Case-Shiller projects that by the end of 2013, home prices will be rising in nearly every metro area in the U.S. In other markets, price appreciation will slowly return to normal rates as home buyers regain confidence that the market has found its footing.
Stiff cautions that the parallels to previous years should not be overstated. With both prices and mortgage payments at historic lows relative to income, Fiserv Case-Shiller expects stronger demand for housing, and the sector once again having a positive impact on the economy.
For more information, visit www.realestateeconomywatch.com Posted by Breckenridge Associates Real Estate on