AgentMarkets & Economy

Is your local real estate market recovering?

Prices may not be rising, but selling close to asking price is a positive sign

Surprisingly, economists generally agree that the housing market appears to be bottoming out this summer and should improve in 2013. Although home price increases are expected to be modest, and in some cities home prices are still declining, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price data, prices appear to be holding. Despite Conference Board reports that consumer confidence dropped in August to the lowest level since late last year, a recent survey by Fannie Mae revealed that 73 percent of the 1,001 Americans asked believe that it is a good time to buy a home. Factors contributing to this are record low interest rates -- in the mid-3 percent range in mid-July -- and home prices at 2002 levels in some areas making housing more affordable. Recent increases in rents and low vacancies also contribute to buyers once again favoring buying rather than renting. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University recently released its "State of the Nation's Hous...