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Today, many experts agree that the United States real estate market is on the mend. These experts point to many factors: there are fewer distressed properties on the market; the demand for houses is growing faster than the number of homes on the market; and home prices are steadily increasing month after month. In fact in many markets, home prices are near their 2006  peak!

Because of the market crash, many homeown- ers found themselves “underwater,” with mortgages worth more than the value of their homes. The last  five to six years showed little light  at the end of tunnel, and many simply stopped believing the market and their situa- tion  could improve. However today’s market has improved drastically, but many have yet to realize it.

Today, there is hope for homeowners who found themselves stuck or struggling due to the market crash. If you know one of the millions of homeowners who were underwater on their mortgage, or if you have been waiting to sell your home until the market improved, now may be the time to sell!

Home Prices  Continue to Increase

According to CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI®), September 2013  was the 19th consecutive  month with  year-over-year increase in home prices nationally.

“September 2013  was the 19th consecutive month with  year-over-year home price increases”

This is tremendous news for homeowners! This nationwide increase in home prices speaks to the steady recovery of the real estate market over the last  year. For homeowners underwater on their homes, it means their homes may “reach the surface” for the first time in years, and they may finally find  equity back in their homes. For homeowners who have been waiting for the market to improve, it may mean they can now finally sell, whether to move or to upgrade to a bigger home.

More and More States Near  Peak Prices

Nationwide, more and more markets are edging closer to their peak home sale prices. South Dakota, North Dakota, Vermont, and Nebraska all reported home prices that matched their peak 2006  levels. 22 other states reported that home prices are now within 10 percent of their peak prices.

“22 States are within 10 percent of their  peak prices”

The map above from CoreLogic shows the difference between peak home prices and current home prices for each state. As you can see, more and more states are returning to peak levels.

And while some states still seem far off from their peak prices, such as Nevada, California, Arizona, Michigan, these states are also show- ing  some of the fastest appreciation rates, as shown in the table below.

In many cases, the high appreciation in those markets is due to higher demand for homes, with  few homes available. So even if you find yourself in one of these markets, you may still be able to get much more for your home than you think!

It’s a Seller’s Market

Home prices continue trending upwards for many reasons. Two of the core reasons, how- ever, make todays market a sellers’ market.

1. More and more people are looking to purchase homes as the market improves. However, the number of homes for sale is low.

Today more people want to buy homes today than at any time in the past five or six years. However, housing inventory remains low.  This simple law of supply and demand is allowing homeowners to ask  more for their homes.

2. There number of distressed properties has dropped dramatically, lessening their impact on the market.

When the economy crashed, many homeown- ers found themselves in financial hardship and unable to pay their mortgages. Facing foreclo- sure, they tried to sell only  to find  that the value of their home was less than what they owed. For the last  five or six years, these properties have kept home prices low.  Today, much of the distressed property inventory has been sold, so these properties don’t affect the market as significantly.

“This means both distressed and non-distressed sellers  find  themselves in a much better posi- tion  as they can ask  more for their homes!”

If You Have Been Waiting to Sell Your Home, Now  May Be the Time

The market has dramatically improved, and looks  to continue improving. So if you or some- one you know have been waiting to sell your home, especially if the home was “underwa- ter,” now is the time to start exploring options.

Do you know what your home is worth? Do you know what other homes in your area are selling for?  As you’ve seen from this report, the market has changed dramatically. Those who have been underwater may not be any longer. Those who have been waiting until home prices recovered may have gained that value back in their homes.

As a real estate agent and Certified Distressed Property Expert®, I have the most up-to-date information and training to help you under- stand exactly what your situation is. Contact me today for a free market analysis and let  me help you determine your best options!