New-home sales inspired some recent consternation after it was reported that both volume and prices declined in October. A few commentators opined that one month could turn into two, and possibly more.

Color us skeptical; new-home sales remain far below their historical pace, while pricing remains robust in many local markets. And when looking at the aggregate national trend, pricing for both new and existing homes is decidedly up.

On pricing, CoreLogic's latest data show prices, which include distressed properties, rose 6.3% year over year in October. This marks the largest increase since June 2006 and the eighth-consecutive year-over-year increase in 2012.

Arizona was the standout market in CoreLogic's data, with prices rising 21.3% year over year. But guess which market is catching up? Nevada, where prices are up 12.4%. When prices were continually dropping in Nevada ( Las Vegas, in particular), we continually mentioned that it was a matter of time before they would reach a point where markets would clear and prices would rise.

When Las Vegas finally showed signs of recovery, we also posited that the real estate recovery would likely have become a country-wide phenomenon. This appears the case today.

The housing market is trending positively, to state the obvious, and it would likely trend even better if we could get more financing to more buyers. Mortgage purchase applications have been trending higher in recent weeks, but they still have a lot of room for improvement.

Unfortunately, we are still mired in a risk-averse lending market. That said, we are seeing a pick up in private participation. In the private-label residential mortgage-backed security (RMBS) market, issuance is up to $6 billion this year. That's not much, but it's more than double the $2.8 billion issued last year. Looking to next year, the market is expected to expand to $15 billion.

Discussing RMBSs might seem like delving into the arcane, but RMBSs matter because they're an indicator of private investor interest in the mortgage market. We've stated many times that more participation in mortgage lending is better than less participation.

But more participation means mortgages could get more expensive. In order to contract Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's presence in the mortgage market, as well as encourage the return of private capital investment, the FHFA aims to increase G-fees by 30 to 50 basis points to match recent private-label execution.

In short, we don't see mortgage financing becoming meaningfully cheaper, even though rates have eased a few basis points each week for the past month. In fact, mortgages could become more expensive in 2013.

Courtesy of Jessica Regan.

Search all Harrisburg PA homes for sale.

When you are buying or selling property in today's Harrisburg PA real estate market, it's important to have confidence in your real estate professional. Don’s commitment as your Harrisburg PA REALTOR® is to provide you with the specialized real estate service you deserve.

When you are an informed buyer or seller, you'll make the best decisions for the most important purchase or sale in your lifetime. That's why Don’s goal is to keep you informed on trends in Harrisburg PA real estate. With property values continuing to rise, real estate is a sound investment for now and for the future.

As a local area expert with knowledge of Harrisburg PA area communities, Don’s objective is to work diligently to assist you in meeting your real estate goals.

If you are considering buying or selling a home or would just like to have additional information about real estate in your area, please don't hesitate to call me at (717) 657-8700, complete my online form, or e-mail me at