Home Values See Biggest Gains Since 2004

imagesJanuary home values rose to their highest levels since June 2004, according to a Zillow report. Many buyers and housing experts hope that it signals a future housing recovery that will benefit both buyers and sellers.

The Zillow Home Value Index rose for the 15th straight month to $158,100 in January 2013. According to Zillow, national home values have not been that high since June 2004. The improvement represents a 6.2 percent year-over-year gain and a 0.7 percent increase from December 2012. (source)

This is good news for homeowners fearing that the housing bust would destroy their equity and leave them with little financial wiggle room. But the rising housing values may have the effect of making it more difficult for certain homeowners to find financing because the credit market recovery hasn’t kept pace. Many lenders are still risk shy and choose to avoid borrowers with less than good credit.  Many of these borrowers may be forced to rent, at least for a short time, while they improve their credit score and wait for the credit market to warm. Some analysts predict that if the credit market doesn’t recover quickly, we could see a rise in renters and a subsequent rise in the cost of rental units.

For buyers who have the credit to get decent interest rates, now may be the best time to take advantage of rising housing values and avoid the coming rise in rents. Working with an experienced mortgage broker who can help you find financing that fits your budget will you take advantage of the coming housing recovery.

 

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