“The fear factor is all but gone.” So says Mark Prather, broker at ERA Buy America Real Estate in La Palma, Calif. Momentum around the nation is building for a stronger spring housing market than we’ve seen in the past five years, according to the Seattle Times. An unseasonably warm January and February may have stimulated winter sales of existing homes, which hit their highest levels in the the last 5-year period.The number of permits secured to build houses and apartments also increased to a high point since 2008. Here are additional highlights:
- King County’s median home price in March rose to $330,000.
- Miami’s average sales price spiked 14% in the past year.
- Investors are outbidding many first-time home buyers on cheaper homes. Property sales between $100,000 and $250,000 have increased by 19 percent over the past year. Sales for homes between $250,000 and $500,000 went up 13 percent.
With an average rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.88 percent and home prices down 34 percent since 2006, homes are really affordable. Areas including Boston, Dallas and Seattle are seeing growth both in the job and housing markets. National unemployment went down to 8.2 percent since the August peak of 9.1 percent. Good prices coupled with qualified buyers are cause for spring housing bloom.