By examining past property data, home prices and sales often experience a surge in activity during the spring and summer, and subsequently slow in the fall and winter, but some real estate experts believe market trends may not follow these expectations this year.
Barring another major economic shock, property values and transactions are expected to continue their upward trends during the remainder of 2012, the Wall Street Journal reports. Some claim this adds to the argument that home prices have finally hit rock-bottom.
"We have a much better supply and demand dynamic than in previous years," real estate analysts Mark Fleming told the newspaper.
So far this year, property values have appreciated nearly 9.6 percent and traditional market slowdowns experienced in colder months aren't expected to cancel out this gain, the report said. In fact, not since 2009, when the economy was still in recession, have home prices fallen more than 9.6 percent during the final six months of a year.
Economy still a concern
Although the year-over-year gains in the housing market may be reasons to celebrate, uncertainties, such as slow economic growth, and recent slower-than-expected job creation could still be obstacles on the path to a real estate recovery.
Specifically, during the month of August, after companies expanded payrolls by an estimated 96,000 positions, the unemployment rate edged lower to 8.1 percent, from 8.2 percent the previous month, according to a report from the Department of Labor.
"Housing is pulling itself off the mat, but can’t shoulder the weight of the entire jobs market recovery that is plagued by weak consumer confidence and tattered household financials, and the challenges of our major trading partners overseas," Collingwood Group managing director Tim Rood told HousingWire.
It's believed that close to 12.5 million Americans are still under- or unemployed - a number which has remained stagnant for much of this year.
A lack of job security could be a factor that weighs heavily on the decisions consumers make in the future. Because most conventional mortgage lenders hold prospective borrowers to much higher financial standards than they did at the market's peak, many households may find themselves with limited options when the attempt to make the transition to homeownership.