By Patricia Kramer & Patricia Lou Martin
Looking back at 2012, we can see that it was a decisive year for the
- Home values rose, competition increased, and prospects brightened for a steady recovery in the coming year. According to the
, there were five key developments that lent the local markets momentum throughout 2012. As we move into the New Year, here is a retrospective of where we’ve been – and a hint of what’s to come in 2013.
- Home prices rose – even in the off-season . Despite spring’s usual monopoly on strong sales numbers and rising home values, San Diego’s median home price as of November 2012 was $358,000 – signifying a 14% increase compared to the same time in 2011.
- Inventory decreased . While a lack of available properties on the market can be discouraging for potential buyers, it spells good news for sellers – and oftentimes contributes to a rise in home prices overall. With only 5,300 active listings throughout the county – nearly half the number available this time last year – competition is stiff. For those holding out in hopes of higher prices before listing their homes, now could be the right time to strike.
- Short sales outnumbered foreclosures . After years of struggling with post-recession foreclosures, the market finally saw a decrease in underwater homes in 2012. Short sales – that is, sales in which homeowners may sell for less that what they owe pending loaner approval – are now more common than foreclosures overall. The shift represents a slow but distinct improvement in the economy, and provides benefits to both homeowners and lenders.
- Banks lined up to aid consumers . In a $25 billion mortgage settlement, California Attorney General Kamala Harris succeeded in striking a deal to hold banks accountable for unfair foreclosures. While critics deem the deal insufficient in the wake of recession losses, the fact remains that more bank-sponsored aid is available to consumers than in years past – helping to curb the trend toward foreclosures and slowly but surely begin repairing the market.
- Mortgage rates went down – way down . According to Freddie Mac, current mortgage interest rates are below 4%. These figures mark historic lows – and signal unparalleled opportunity for buyers with good credit. The Federal Reserve aims to keep rates down as an incentive to help individuals purchase homes and effectively refinance mortgages.
Moving into 2013, all of these developments will undoubtedly come into play. And the best way to start the year off right is to get in touch with an experienced local real estate agent – and learn how to make this your best year yet. For more information on selling a home, qualifying for a loan or finding a Del Mar, Carlsbad or
, get in touch with us at
today. Visit us online, at