In case you haven’t been paying attention, the real estate market in recent years has been tumultuous at best. Market downturns, foreclosure spikes, short-sale increases, builders unable to return to work, brief housing market boosts and declines, etc. It has been a rollercoaster of uncertainty, but there is good news on the horizon.
The main theme of a recent international real estate convention in Las Vegas was that the national real estate market seems to be returning to normal. For example, there were more real estate sales in 2013 than there have been since 2006, and on average, home values appreciated 10% for the year. That is not to say that the entire country is on the upswing, however, as there are still several areas that will likely remain down for at least a few more years.
It seems as if the markets that were hit the hardest are showing some of the strongest signs of improvement, however. Arizona was among the top 3 hardest hit areas, and in certain areas (such as Flagstaff), home values and buyer/seller activity has nearly returned to levels not seen since the housing bubble burst.
Some other information to come out of the convention is that interest rates are not expected to be changing any time soon, and if you are looking to buy a house in the future, you will likely be required to provide quite a bit more financial information than in the past. This is of course due to the Dodd Frank act, and its attempts to stabilize the housing market in any way possible.
The national real estate market is not always the easiest to predict, but it is comforting to know that house values are once again on the rise, and there is no shortage of buying and selling going on.