According to the National Association of Realtors, the housing market is taking baby steps towards improvement. Last week, the numbers released for December, 2011, showed the year ending on a high note. This is good news for anyone looking to buy or sell a home this year, and it is a promising development for the housing economy as a whole.
The annual sales pace in December crept up to 4.6 million homes, which is 5% higher than the November number, and 3.6% higher than the pace at that time in 2010. Most importantly, it was the third consecutive month for an increased pace of sales. This looks like momentum to experts in the housing industry. According to CNN Money, it demonstrates a market in recovery, and it will help buyers and sellers gain some needed confidence in real estate.
Home prices still have some ground to make up. The median price for a home in December was $164,500, which is 2.5% lower than the median home price at the end of 2010. Experts believe that as sales increase and the inventory of home shrinks, prices will have the opportunity to climb again, and buyers and sellers will find more value in the homes on the market. Home values could fall well above or below the median, depending on geography and other conditions. Price estimates and market trend reports can always be found at http://www.movoto.com/comparative-market-analysis.
In other good news, the government’s report on homebuilding is showing signs of promise. New home construction numbers were much better at the end of 2011 than they were at the end of 2010. The Census Bureau reported that building permits had increased by almost 8%, and new construction starts shot up by almost 25%.
These reports generate excitement about the potential for recovery in 2012. As consumers question whether this is the right year to buy or sell a home, they will feel much better about it than they did in the last two or three years. While lending standards are likely to remain tight, better housing numbers combined with lower unemployment rates and an increase in consumer confidence can jumpstart the real estate market and the economy as a whole.