Las Vegas, Seattle Pace Housing Turnarounds

Las Vegas, Seattle Pace Housing Turnarounds
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    Las Vegas and Seattle, two housing markets that were especially battered over the course of housing downturn, have paced all US metropolitan areas in increased housing prices for 2012.


According to the Trulia housing information website, home prices in Las Vegas increased by average of 27.5 percent in 2012 and by an average of 24 percent in Seattle.

Price Trends

Current housing price trends were gleaned from the Trulia Price Monitor and the Trulia Rent Monitor, and published earlier this month. Besides the two frontrunners, Phoenix home price averages also rose sharply, by 21.8 percent, followed by Oakland, Calif., at 21 percent and San Jose, Calif., at 20.8 percent. Nationally, Trulia reports that home prices rose by 5.1 percent or 2.3 percent in the final quarter alone. That reverses 2011’s drop of 4.3 percent.

The Trulia report covers the top 100 US metropolitan areas. Nine of the top 10 gainers were in western states with Atlanta the sole outsider. That metro area placed seventh and home prices increased by 18.9 percent on average. In 2012, 82 of the top 100 enjoyed price increases compared to just 12 markets in 2011.

Rent Trends

Another area that Trulia looks at is the rental market. Its data reveals that rents rose slightly higher than home prices, averaging gains of 5.2 percent nationally. Houston came in first with rents rising an average of 16.2 percent compared to price increases of just 3.1 percent.

In Oakland, Calif., rent increases averaging 12.6 percent nearly matched the 12.7 percent gain in house prices. Miami’s increase of 10.3 percent placed this city in third, beating out its home price increase which came in at an average of 8.9 percent. Denver, Seattle, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and Portland, Ore., rounded out the top 10 rent gainers.

Phoenix and Las Vegas offered the starkest contrasts between rent and home prices. Although home prices rose by 26 percent last year in Phoenix, rents increased by just 2.7 percent. In Las Vegas, home prices increased by 16.3 percent, but the average rent prices actually fell, declining by 0.9 percent.

Housing Trends

The rebounding housing market may also mean that more first-time homebuyers will enter the fray. You can also expect that the number of foreclosure bargains will fall and that a rise in short sales will take place thanks to new rules issued last Nov. by the Fair Housing Finance Agency.

In all, 2013 may offer more of a mix of good news with bad. If you are planning to renovate your home with an eye toward selling it, consider what updates can make your home more appealing to potential buyers and weigh that with your local market trends and your costs.

See AlsoWhat You Need to Know About Short Sale Homes



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About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Auto Trends Magazine", an online publication. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and weblogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".