Realtors: Seller’s Market Is Back, Home Values Follow

After years of turmoil, those in the market to buy, sell or refinance may be finding themselves once again in a seller’s market.

With January existing home sales showing an uptick, a seller’s market is developing and home prices continue to rise steadily above year-ago levels, says the National Association of Realtors based on the association’s most recent data survey.

Existing sales are outpacing estimates with buyer demand leading to the turn in the market.

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“Buyer traffic is continuing to pick up, while seller traffic is holding steady,” he said. “In fact, buyer traffic is 40 percent above a year ago, so there is plenty of demand but insufficient inventory to improve sales more strongly,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. “We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country.”

The gap between demand an inventory could lead to prices rising unnaturally, Yun said.

“We expect a seasonal rise of inventory this spring, but it may be insufficient to avoid more frequent incidences of multiple bidding and faster-than-normal price growth,” he said.

NAR reports the national median existing home price was $173,600 in January, up 12.3% from January of 2012 and marking the 11th month of year-over-year price increases.

Written by Elizabeth Ecker

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