Most analysts agree — the housing market is in recovery. Prices are rising, sales are increasing, and home builders are clearing lots and raising frames in desirable areas. The pace of the housing recovery, however, will be slow and uneven, and there’s no guarantee that prices won’t fall for homes in areas that were overbuilt last decade, or that are in undesirable locations.
Still, in looking at the myriad of housing data, the trend is clear.
The most recent S&P/Case-Shiller Index, a private-sector home value gauge, reported that home values rose on a month-to-month basis in April for the first time this year. The index may be flawed, but it’s a consistent way to measure the long-term, historical path of home values.
There are other measures of a housing recovery, too. For example, the pace of new home construction has quickened and the National Association of REALTORS® reports that the Pending Home Sales Index climbed to its highest level since April 2010 — the last month of that year’s federal home buyer tax credit.
Need to hear more? New Home Sales are soaring; buyer foot traffic is up; inventory is down. It’s clear that housing has bottomed — at least, nationally.
2012 marks the fourth straight year that the housing market has teased a revival. In each of the previous three, rallies faded and home prices slid. This year, however, looks different. With pent-up demand for housing and quickly rising rents, home buyers of all types have reason to go into contract. First-time buyers want to avoid rising prices; move-up buyers want to maximize their purchasing power; and investors want to capitalize on rentals.
And, with mortgage rates at 3.62% for a 30-year fixed, home affordability is higher than it’s been in history. See what today’s rates can do for you. Exceptionally low mortgage rates yield exceptionally low mortgage payments.