Home Prices Keep Rising; Is Bubble at Risk?

The average price of an existing U.S. home is now better than $252,800 and rising. Is the American real estate market at risk of bubble trouble?

The escalation has some market observers worrying about another burst of the real estate bubble.

Experts say succeeding as a buyer in today’s market means:

--Researching online to find the average selling prices of comparables.

--Checking how nearby homes have appreciated in recent year.

--Determining the average number of days that homes spend on the market before they sell.

The news is better closer to home, though, because the greater Houston housing market continues to outperform the nation – particularly in the northern and western suburbs.

Home prices in the Houston area are expected to go up by 6 percent to 6.5 percent this year, according to the Texas A&M Real Estate Center. It's seen as continued evidence that the local housing market continues to outpace the nation.

The strongest price bracket locally is for homes in the $250,000-$500,000 range.

Nationwide, only about one-third of U.S. homes have climbed back to the price peaks that were seen before the Great Recession – which was the last time the real estate bubble burst.

In the greater Houston area, overall home prices are expected to rise more than 6 percent this year – with the suburbs generally outperforming the city.

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