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South Florida keeps getting good news -- is there any elsewhere?

While South Florida has been spoiled with good news for the local real estate market, the rest of the country hasn't been fairing quite so well. Many of our readers are familiar by now with the data that continues to point out that South Florida is one area of the country that experienced a revival in real estate transactions over the course of the last several months. And from looking at most recent reports, the local housing market continues to improve.

But what about other major metropolitan areas, and the rest of the country in general? Is there any real estate relief in sight for sellers? Just like everything else associated with today's economy, it appears the housing market may be on the path to recovery nationwide, albeit at quite a slow pace.

The most recent data indicates that home prices throughout the nation rose in the month of May. There was a 2.2 percent increase from April. That may seem small, but economists appear to be pleased.

The figures come from the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city home price index, an indicator that has been mentioned in our previous posts. By looking at the markets in these major population areas, average numbers can be calculated to show where and when the housing market recovery is taking root. Percentages can vary wildly -- for instance, in the Atlanta area, prices declined 17 percent from about April 2011 to April 2012. Then, from April to May of this year, prices in that area jumped 4 percent.

Although the real estate market has always been tricky to enter, prospective buyers can probably begin to take heart that potential investments in real estate are starting to look good again. And for those interested in residential real estate, now may be the best time in a long time to take the plunge into home ownership.

Source: CNN Money, "Home prices jump 2.2% in May," Les Christie, July 31, 2012

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