Home prices weather winter months, show possible further improvement

Clear Capital recently detailed the success observed in the national residential real estate sector for the first three months of 2013, and estimated heightened opportunities for growth may be found in coming year.

Similar to the positive trends exhibited by housing markets nationwide last year, improving economic conditions may provide consumers with additional opportunities to pursue homeownership. 

Recent information disseminated by the real estate information provider Clear Capital detailed the success observed in the national residential real estate sector for the first three months of 2013, and estimated heightened opportunities for growth may be found in coming year. Property data outlined in the organization's Home Data Index showed that for the first time since 2006, quarterly home prices remained firm throughout the winter season - in which declines are typically seen. In addition, three of four major regions across the country saw rises in the momentum of their annual gains.

"Home prices ended the first quarter of 2013 in a similar fashion to how they started the year, stable and in positive territory," said Dr. Alex Villacorta, director of research and analytics for Clear Capital. "It has been seven years since home price growth continued throughout winter. This is very strong evidence of the start to a new leg of the recovery, one that should give further confidence to consumers and lenders alike that the recovery is real."

Villacorta also said subsequent quarters may provide additional proof of the housing market's recovery, as the relatively rapid price correction seen in 2012 may see heightened values during the remainder of 2013. Along with the 0.9 percent growth exhibited in home prices during the first quarter, a rise of nearly 2 percent is projected to take place before year's end. 

Gains in employment seen during March
In addition to low mortgage records and bolstering housing prices, consumers may be finding more confidence in the vitality of the nation's economy through rising employment figures. 

According to ADP's National Employment Report, last month saw 158,000 nonfarm jobs added to the private sector on a seasonally adjusted basis. Small businesses recorded the largest gain in employment, as 74,000 positions were added during March. Medium businesses, those with between 50 and 499 employees, noted the creation of 37,000 new jobs. Large businesses with 500 or more employees saw the addition of 47,000 positions during the month. 

ADP's president and chief executive officer, Carlos Rodriguez, said the majority of new jobs were created by service providers. The goods producing sector also reportedly saw the addition of a considerable amount of positions. 

 "Over the first quarter of 2013, the ADP National Employment Report has reported an average gain of 191,000 new private sector jobs per month," Rodriguez said.



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