The first quarter of 2013 is almost over and so far, a few trends have emerged in real estate. These trends are not set in stone, nor can we be sure that they will continue on the same trajectories throughout the rest of the year. As with any other major part of the economy, much of real estate depends on external factors such as employment, interest rates, and general economic conditions.
With that being said, the first quarter of 2013 has established a few trends in the national market that extend into regional and local markets and could point to broader movement throughout the rest of the year.
Home Prices Are Rising – For the Most Part
After five years of continually falling prices, home values are starting to pick up in many parts of the country.
According to the S&P Case-Shiller Index, prices rose by 7.3% from the end of 2011 to the end of 2012. They are now roughly halfway to what they were in 2006 at the market’s peak. The market with the largest one-year change was Phoenix (23%); the market with the lowest one-year change was New York (-0.5%).
This doesn’t mean that housing prices have risen in 2013 – data for a national figure isn’t available yet – but we can assume that they have. What these numbers indicate is a trend; housing prices are on an upward trajectory.
Barring some serious reversal of fortune in the market or economy, they’ll likely continue to rebound throughout the rest of the year.