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Mortgage Pros Expect Home Prices, Sales to Continue Growing

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Though the housing market has been in recovery mode for the past year, the vast majority of experts say that many of these improvements will likely continue throughout 2013, and potentially beyond.

Now, about 84 percent of real estate professionals say that they expect the housing market to continue its recovery – though perhaps not at the pace observed during the past 12 months – for most of this year, by way of increased home values and more sales nationwide, according to a new survey from online real estate marketing and technology solutions company Market Leader. Those increases come at a time of optimism, where last year’s gains came despite the fact that about one-third of all markets nationwide were expected to see continued downturns in property values. By contrast, all of the nation’s largest markets are expected to see increases this year.

“The differences in how real estate professionals are seeing the market in the past 12 months is significant,” said Nikesh Parekh, chief executive officer of ActiveRain, the group with which the survey was conducted. “Confidence in the real estate market has increased by 28 percent, and a rebound in both housing and construction this year is a great sign for the economy.”

Professionals were asked to rate their optimism for four different factors on a scale of 1 to 5, with the former representing “significant decline,” the latter “significant increase” and a 3 showing expectations of no change, the report said. In all, expectations for real estate values rose to 3.9 from 3 for a 28 percent increase. Meanwhile, predictions for transactions jumped to a rating of 4 from 3.6, an 11 percent increase, and expectations for new construction starts climbed to 3.9 from 3.2, an increase of 21 percent. Finally, expectations for local economies rose to 3.8 from 3.4, rising 12 percent.

Eight of the top 10 markets that are expected to see the biggest gains this year are located in heartland states, the report said. That includes Austin, Texas, at No. 1, and Kansas City, Missouri, at No. 3. The Fort Myers and Naples, Florida, area was second. Salt Lake City, Houston, Portland, Dallas and Fort Worth, Nashville, Detroit and San Antonio rounded out the top 10.

Experts have cautioned, however, that the gains seen last year are unlikely to be replicated simply because of how large they were. Nonetheless, it’s clear that many believe the gains this year will still be significant, just less so.

Image: iStockphoto

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