There's good news for homeowners, as home values are reaching their highest levels since the 2008 recession. According to figures from the National Association of REALTORS®, prices are up 3.2 percent year over year in the northeast, over 12 percent in the west and nearly 7 percent in the south.
The losses from the recession have already been, or are close to being erased in nearly 20 percent of metro housing markets studied by Zillow. Researchers there say prices in more than 1,000 U.S. cities could see their highest home values than ever within the next year.
A main reason behind the higher home values nationwide is the lack of available inventory for homebuyers. As home builders are slowly getting back to speed with filing building permits for new home construction, many prospective homebuyers are clamoring for the properties currently available in their respective markets. In economic terms, the overwhelming demand for the limited supply is driving up prices.
Prospective homebuyers should be preparing themselves to be as competitive as possible when making purchase offers during the busy spring and summer buying seasons. Being flexible with closing dates and negotiation terms, and ensuring that they have solid loan pre-approvals will help weed them out from the crowds of less serious and less qualified buyers. Speaking with a loan originator beforehand will also nail down the exact home purchase price that homebuyers will be comfortable with when it comes to making monthly home loan payments. Securing a seasoned real estate professional to assist in the search and buying process is also likely to make the process more efficient.