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Evidence that the market is improving - and not just in Florida

All of the good news about real estate that our South Florida readers see through our previous posts and in the local news may be blurring out the fact that it appears the nationwide real estate market could be marching toward recovery. Individuals and families throughout the country who have been getting involved in real estate transactions in recent months may have noticed a small but significant trend - home prices are rising.

Some of our readers may be familiar with the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller index. It has been referenced in previous posts, and is commonly used by analysts of the real estate market to determine trends in many of the nation's largest cities - trends which can then be extrapolated out to the rest of the country. According to the recent reports from the index, the value of real estate rose 2 percent in August, as compared to August of 2011.

Although there are many who see these increases as an encouraging sign, some believe that the increases were simply bound to happen since the housing market has taken such a beating over the last several years. It seems that this argument is that, from rock bottom, real estate values had nowhere to go but up. Some who see this data from that perspective note that home prices were at their peak in 2006, and today's numbers are approximately 30 percent lower than the peak prices.

Still, hotspots for real estate are starting to pop up. For instance, the market surrounding the Washington, D.C., area showed a 4.3 percent increase in August when compared to August of 2011.

For a prospective buyer, or a prospective seller, there will always be good news and bad news to consider. But, for those in the South Florida area, there may not be a better time to strike than right now.

Source: The Washington Post, "Home prices rise in August," Kathy Orton, Oct. 30, 2012

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