Home prices once again continued to show solid gains, increasing at a faster rate during the month of November. These gains were largely a result of healthy employment, mortgage rates that have remained low, and low housing inventory. The home price index of Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller increased by over five percent compared to 2015, just a tad faster than the 5.5 percent pace in October.
The values of homes around the country have come close to a recovery from the high reached back in July of 2006. The real estate market continues to slowly recover from its nosedive, though some markets like San Francisco, Denver and Dallas have either matched their all-time highs or risen above them. Other markets like Charlotte, North Carolina are less than one percent below their previous high.
Per the National Association of Realtors, buyers began to flood the market once again in 2015, leading to an increase of 6.5 percent in existing home sales, resulting in 5.26 million homes sold. Employers have added over two million jobs and the costs of borrowing continues to be low, allowing more Americans to become homeowners.
The boost in home values and the low inventory means that sales growth could slow down this year. Buyers remain motivated but they are also unwilling to overpay, resulting in potentially higher prices and a lower volume of sales.