Home Values

A post on the improving U.S. housing market at The New York Times caught my eye because it is backed by data from the real estate website Zillow.
In real estate markets north of the border, home buyers are not privy to near as much information as that provided in the United States by Zillow. A transparent and refreshingly neutral source, Zillow tells us the near 6% increase in home values last year was a result of tighter inventories, stronger demand, and a slowing pace of foreclosures. Zillow also notes the 6% increase is “greater than the typical appreciation seen in healthy markets.” Their 2013 forecast calls for a “more sustainable” increase of 3.3 percent, typical of average annual housing market appreciation (which is historically actually closer to 3 percent according to their research). “As values rise, fewer homeowners are underwater, or owe more than their home is worth, and may be more willing to put their homes on the market. The increase in inventory, in turn, should moderate future price increases.”

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