U.S. Housing Prices Soar

It's a great time to put your home on the market, according to the latest housing numbers.  The average home price nationwide rose by 5.8% in March compared to a year earlier, as reported by the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index.  That marks the largest annual price increase in nearly three years, up from around 5% annual growth during much of the past few years.

The first place to look when gauging the 2017 price boost is the overall economy.  "This is all directly related to buyer confidence and consumer confidence, and the economy seems to be stable and improving," says Christi Borden, realtor with Houston's Better Homes & Gardens-Gary Greene.  She tells KTRH that the Houston market has been a little more uneven in recent years due to the problems in the oil and gas industry.  "What's happened in the energy corridor has caused some job-shifting---folks coming in here, folks going out---but we love when people move, because that's what keeps the real estate market going," says Borden.

Among individual markets in the S&P index, Seattle and Portland saw the biggest annual increases in home prices, with Dallas in third place at 8.6%.  Borden says Houston prices are growing, but not nearly at that pace.  "It is still a seller's market here," she says.  "Buyers do, however, have a bit more negotiating strength just because of increased inventory in the area."

Overall, Borden rates the Houston housing market much like its economy--steady, but not skyrocketing too fast like other markets.  "We realtors actually prefer a more balanced market, where people are able to make good, valid decisions and not rush into things just because of limited inventory," she says.  "But it's still a very strong market in Houston."

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