The new year is expected to bring about a brighter housing market, thanks to an improving job market and record-breaking mortgage rates.
"Hopefully, we'll look back at 2012 as a transition year," reports Cary Porter, Designated Broker and Co-Owner of The Cascade Team Real Estate. "Looking back on 2012, maybe we'll be able to say this is when it changed and the housing crisis was put behind us."
Home values are moving up across the country. For example, Seattle has seen prices go up nearly 11% while Phoenix has seen home prices soar 21.7 percent this year. The National Association of REALTORS® reported last week that previously owned home sales increased 5.9 percent in November compared with October and sales were up 14.5 percent year-over-year.
Helping to contribute to the rise in home prices is the decline in for-sale inventories. Inventories in November were at the lowest level since December 2001 at 4.8 months of supply.
Meanwhile, sales of new homes posted at their highest pace in two years in November and median sales prices inched higher to $246,200 compared to $237,500 in October. However, IHS Global Insight is forecasting that new-home sales still have a long way to recover and likely will not return to normal sales levels until 2015.