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Home Values See Biggest Jump in YearsThe value of properties across the country has been on the rise for more than a year, and that trend continued in the first month of 2013.

The average value of homes nationwide ticked up slightly between December and January, rising 0.7 percent to a total of $158,100, according to the latest Real Estate Market Reports from the industry tracking firm Zillow. This marked the 15th straight month in which there was such an increase. Further, the climb on an annual basis was substantial, increasing 6.2 percent from the prices observed in January 1012, the largest year-over-year appreciation observed since the 7.5 percent seen in July 2006, before the housing bubble burst.

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In addition, Zillow’s Home Value Forecast projects that there will be an additional price increase of roughly 3.3 percent between January 2013 and the same month next year, the report said. This is predicated largely on the fact that prices have bottomed out in nearly every market nationwide, and 30 percent of them are expected to see increases of at least 3 percent.

Free Tool: Credit Report CardIn January alone, 248 of the 374 markets covered by the firm saw appreciation in home value on a monthly basis, while 284 saw increases annually, the report said. And among the 30 largest markets in the nation, only St. Louis and Orlando saw monthly declines, at 0.2 and 0.4 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, the San Francisco and Tampa metropolitan areas saw the largest increases, rising 2 percent each. However, despite all these improvements, home prices are still down 18.5 percent from their all-time high in April 2007, and up just 6.5 percent from the lowest points seen following the recession in October 2011.

Not surprisingly, with home values rising, instances of foreclosure continued to decline nationwide, the report said. In January, just 5.54 of every 10,000 homes were liquidated, and foreclosure resales now make up just 13.05 percent of all home purchases, down from 16.65 percent in the same month last year and the all-time high of 19.9 percent in March 2009.

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However, some experts worry that all these stark year-over-year improvements could potentially lead to another housing bubble, but others point out there are some indicators that these increases could be more sustainable given the massive dip they took just several years ago. It’s believed that prices could rise into 2014 and beyond, though perhaps not at the same levels currently being observed.

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