Both the number of sales and the average sale price tends to dip in fall and winter and then rise in spring and summer.
The recovery in our local housing market has been pretty solid and while we see these seasonal trends, the long-term outlook remains stable.
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Aside from the seasonal dip, home values have increased over the past three years and the chart below reflects that slow and steady climb in the average sales price.
The rise was spurred predominantly from the over-consumption of distressed sales by institutional investors.
These hedge funds and investment firms purchasing not only off the courthouse steps but also on the open market drove distressed inventory down drastically while driving their sales prices up.
When those inventories started to dry up, they then pursued non-distressed resales.
As inventory levels declined drastically, bidding became more competitive, driving prices up further.
Predictions are for continued improvement in housing nationally through 2014 with most markets remaining in a seller's market and prices increasing around 5 percent on average. While locally we can expect to see a significant increase in new home construction next year, inventory levels will still remain relatively low.
Interest rates are expected to remain in the 4 percent range for most of next year.
Values will continue to rise in a moderate and healthy way putting more sellers in a position to sell who haven't been previously.