Housing sector ends 2012 strongly

Although real estate activity often experiences a slowdown in the fall and winter months, a new report indicates the housing market ended 2012 on a strong note.

Although real estate activity often experiences a slowdown in the fall and winter months, a new report indicates the housing market ended 2012 on a strong note.

During the course of last year, real estate records indicate home sales across the country increased 3.8 percent, while median property values spiked 7.8 percent, according to Re/Max.

"We can finally say that the worst of the housing crisis is now behind us, as 2012 saw dramatic increases in both sales and prices, with home buyers and sellers coming back to the market in numbers we've been anticipating for years," said Re/MaxCEO Margaret Kelly.

Housing market activity could remain strong in 2013, which could be the result of fixed mortgage rates hovering near all-time lows.

During the week ending January 17, the average rate for a 30-year FRM dropped to 3.38 percent, from 3.4 percent, according to a report from Freddie Mac. Meanwhile, 15-year fixed-rate mortgages hovered at 2.66 percent, which was unchanged from a week earlier.

Low mortgage rates is one of the major factors contributing to nationwide housing affordability, and they could continue to play a major role for some time. The Federal Reserve recently announced it would continue to inject funds into the bonds market in an effort to hold rates are current levels until the unemployment rate improves further.



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