U.S. home prices have managed to rise 11.2% from one year ago according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index despite continued economic uncertainty, mixed unemployment reports, concerns over quantitative easement and interest rates, and a politicized government shutdown. Another study, conducted by Zillow, expects cumulative home values to increase by 7.9% year over year.
Both reports expect gains to continue in 2014, but at a slower rate, easing concerns over a second housing bubble. According to Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries "The housing market is transitioning away from the robust bounce off the bottom we've been seeing, toward a more sustainable, healthier market. This will result in annial appreciation closer to historic norms of between 3% and 5%."
Another factor to consider is the continued drop in foreclosure filings and inventory. In November 2013 filings dropped 15% according to RealtyTrac. Filings are now at the lowest level since December 2006, and are down a whopping 37% from one year ago.
Last year our MLS, which covers the Northern NW lower peninsula of Michigan, had 2,298 homes listed for sale. So far (up to 12/19/2013) there have been 2,318 homes listed. More homes were sold in 2013 as well with a 3.9% increase from last year. Homes sold 16 days faster in 2013, and the average sale price increased 19.25%.