According to the National Housing Trend Report, 2013 has officially ended with reports of a higher housing demand. The median list price for the month of December 2013 was 8.1% higher than the median list price for the month of December 2012. In addition, the median inventory age has decreased by 5.1%. Available inventory figures remained relatively the same, which are all indicators of a stronger market in comparison to the previous year.
225 of the 276 cities tracked by Clear Capital
, a provider of real estate data and analysis, showed rising home prices. Nationwide, prices rose by 10.9%, pushing the median price for existing homes up by $30,000. For sellers waiting to list their home, this is definitely considered to be good news.
In 2013, the traditional buyer was driven to take advantage of still-affordable prices coupled with historically low mortgage rates. Low inventory caused bidding wars with cash buyers and investors while sellers benefited from fast closes, often at above listing prices. While housing continues to remain affordable (an average of 31.5% below the peak that occurred in 2006), housing prices will continue to rise in 2014, but at a steadier, less frantic rate.
Furthermore, the Conference Board
(a non-profit business membership and research group organization) found that the percentage of buyers planning to purchase in the next few months is higher than it has been in 14 years. This will help raise inventory tremendously, as the potential home sellers that have been lingering “underwater” will begin the selling and buying process again. Nearly 3.5 million homeowners have been lifted out of a negative equity stage between winter of 2012 and summer of 2013, according to CoreLogic
(leading provider of consumer, financial, and property information).
further reports that while 2013 ramped up with larger than predicted gains and sales, 2014 will probably be less thrilling. Expect single-digit gains, as opposed to double-digit, while existing home sales will hover at last year’s level. Economists are reassuring that in this scenario, a boring housing market is indeed a good thing.
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