The Big View

The holidays are a nice respite. Things slow down a bit, which allows us to stand back and take in the big picture.

We like what we see, because the big picture includes steady improvement in housing. As we reported last week, housing sales are trending higher. In addition, more sales are being financed with a mortgage. That we are seeing more purchase applications is a sign of more owner-occupied buyers. These buyers have always been the key drivers of the housing market.

Recent trends in home prices point to more buyer interest and more inventory from which to choice.

On the pricing front, S&P/Case-Shiller's closely followed 20-city price index rose 0.3% month over month for September. Year over year, the index is up 4.9%. This is the slowest pace of year-over-year price growth since October 2012. This is actually good news because we are seeing the pace of price appreciation return to historical norms, and historical norms are sustainable norms.

That said, price appreciation is still found in most local markets. Of the 20 markets in Case-Shiller's index, 18 showed price gains for the month.

We expect home prices to continue to appreciate in most markets Case-Shiller follows. We say that because we remain confident in the economic outlook. Fortunately, many consumers apparently share our perspective.

Consumer confidence , overall, remains encouraging. Though down slightly in November, confidence has been on the rise through most of 2014. Better yet, consumers remain upbeat on the outlook for job creation. The latest data from the Conference Board show more people view the job market favorably. This, in turn, points to another favorable employment report next week. (Look for another month of 200,000-or-more new jobs for November.)

The positive data on jobs, housing, and mortgage lending over the past six months gives us even more reason to be thankful this time of year. The good news is that we don't expect this sense of gratitude to abate any time soon.

Information provided by Jessica Regan.

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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.

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