While many homebuyers and investors have sat on the sidelines expecting several more waves of foreclosures to keep the housing market depressed, the National median housing market ended 2012 with renewed strength and momentum. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) there were more closed sales, higher median home prices, more pending sales and the year ended with the lowest housing inventory in more than a decade in many states.
The national median average of single family homes increased 10% in the 4th quarter of 2012 vs. 4th quarter of 2011, which was the biggest increase in 7 years! The low interest rates and reduced inventory of existing homes helped fuel the increase according to NAR. Condos and townhouses in the major metro areas also saw price increases of approximately 12% from the 4th quarter of 2011.
Regionally, the west had the largest 4th quarter gain of 5.9% for sales of existing single-family homes only a 5% increase over the same quarter in 2011, followed by the Midwest with an average of 5.6% increase 4th quarter 2012 up 18.3% from the previous year. The Northeast saw a 2.2% increase during the 4th quarter but a 12.9% increase over the same quarter of 2011 while the South experienced a 5.0% increase for the 2012 4th quarter which was up 13.2% from 4th quarter 2011. NAR forecasts a continued good climate for home-buying during 2013 with interest rates remaining low.