Although typically one of the slower parts of the year, January has kept up the momentum of the improving housing market with average home values seeing an increase of 0.7% compared to the month before according to Zillow.com. At an average of $158,100 the average home value is improved by just over 6% compared to January of last year.
This is great news as it continues the 15-month streak of rising home values in the United States and brings hope for the new year. Alabama home sales are predicted to see a 6 percent increase according to ABRE Analytics which is an Alabama real estate research group formed by the Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) and Tom Brander, a well known real estate publisher. The organization predicts Birmingham home sales will see an 8 percent jump compared to 2012.
Lawrence Yun, a chief economist for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) was reported by Realtor.org to state that the key to the 2013 housing market is the diminishing housing inventory across the nation. Yun believes the improving job market combined with the fact that we are in a buyer’s market will cause a spike in demand. He believes it’s why we have seen, and will continue to see favorable price increases.
According to Realtor.org the NAR is predicting 5 million existing-home sales in total for 2013. However, home sales will take a back seat to rising home prices due to the low inventory and ever increasing demand, which is great news for sellers and the general health of the housing market. The NAR predicts home prices to jump nearly 6 percent.
Other experts agree with this observation with USA Today predicting a 6 percent increase in home prices as well. Other forecasts are more conservative, but still positive. After surveying a sample of just over 100 real estate experts, CoreLogic predicts an increase of just over 3 percent, almost half what Realtor.org and USA Today have projected.
Although the exact numbers vary, it seems analysts across the board are predicting continued improvement and rising prices in the housing market for 2013. Daniel Silver, an economist for JP Morgan was reported by Bloomberg to warn potential homebuyers who are waiting for the market to hit the low point to buy now. A market that once heavily favored buyers is steadily tipping toward the sellers favor.