Will Home Values Rise in 2012?

Will your home gain value over the next 12 months? Nobody can know for sure, of course, but should recent housing trends continue, there’s concrete cause for optimism.

The housing economy has suffered since 2007, knocking home values down nearly 20% nationwide. Here in Sacramento, the hit has been much larger (30% to 50%). And while some areas have fared better as compared to others, in general, home values are down.

The median home value in Sacramento in the 3rd quarter of 2007 was $337,000 when rates were in the low 6 percent range. Compare that to $183,000 per 2011 3rd quarter numbers (latest statistics) from National Association of Home Builders. Match that with interest rates in the 4 percent range and we have a recipe for success.

Mortgage rates are down, and that’s good news for buyers in Sacramento. The combination of low rates and low prices has led home affordability to an all-time high. As you’ll hear in this 4-minute interview with NBC’s The Today Show, carrying a mortgage costs 25% less per month as compared to just 3 years ago.

Some other notes from the interview include :

  • There are more buyers out looking for homes today, which leads to more sales
  • The housing market is expected to get gradually better, month-by-month, in 2012
  • Foreclosures will continue to be a big part of the housing market

With housing supplies shrinking, buyers throughout Northern California may find their best “deals” today — before the Spring Buying Season begins in February. Also, take note of my blog a few days ago about higher loan fees coming soon, due to the payroll tax cut extension.

However, we can’t forget that housing markets are local — not national. Each town and neighborhood has its own market drivers and prices where you live may have already started to climb.

For accurate, up-to-date data on the housing market, talk with a local real estate agent. Better yet, ask me to introduce you to a very good agent – a truly great agent is not always easy to find!

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