California Association of Realtors High Hopes For 2013

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California’s home sales are forecast to increase for the third consecutive year and the median price will rise for the second year in a row, according to CAR’s “2013 Housing Market Forecast.” The market has improved moderately over the past year, and is expect that to continue into 2013, The California Association of Realtors (CAR) reported sales in the housing market will gain 1.3 percent in 2013 while the median home price will rise more, by 5.7 percent. Sales will be stronger in higher-priced areas, where there are more equity properties and a somewhat greater availability of homes for sale. The median price remains well off the high of nearly $595,000 back in May of 2007, but that makes for great affordability. Housing affordability has never been stronger – with record-low interest rates and favorable home prices, combining to create a once-in-a-generation opportunity to buy a home in California. The often conservative CAR forecast predicts mortgage interest rates will edge up to 4 percent in 2013, despite the recent Federal Reserve’s announcement to keep interest rates low with $40 billion in additional monthly mortgage securities purchases. “The wildcards for 2013 include federal, monetary and housing policies, state and local government finances, housing supply, and the actions of underwater homeowners – not to mention the strength of the overall economic recovery,” said CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young.