Of course, the trend we speak of is home prices, which continue to move higher. Not only that, they continue to move higher at a rate few commentators would have proffered when gauging the market this time last year.

To wit, CoreLogic's latest report shows home prices nationwide, which includes distress properties, increased 10.5% year over year in March. This was the highest year-over-year increase since March 2006.

It doesn't appear the trend is likely to reverse in the near future. CoreLogic's Pending Home Price Index indicates that prices are expected to post a 9.6% year-over-year gain for April, with prices rising 1.3% for the month.

To be sure, housing markets are local markets, and prices in many local markets are not accelerating at the national rate, but it's quite extraordinary to be experiencing price gains that were prevalent during the height of the housing boom.

Now, this doesn't mean another bubble is set to burst; many markets are rising from a considerably lower base than what prevailed in the early 2000s. That said, these price gains – especially in regions that far exceed the national average – should prompt us to view the market with a more discerning eye; value and price tend to move in opposite direction.

We've mentioned in the past that rising home prices will lift more owners into positive equity, thus prompting more of them to list their home. It's an economic maxim that higher prices lead to more supply, and that appears the case today.

Calculatedriskblog.com reports that for-sale inventory is up 12.2% for the year, a notable improvement over 2011 and 2012, when the peak increase was only 5%. More inventory should lead to more sales activity.

The trend in mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures also portends better days ahead. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports home loans that were at least one month late or in the foreclosure process dropped to 10.3% of mortgages in the first quarter, down from 11.25% in the fourth quarter and 11.33% from the first quarter of 2012. This trend demonstrates a more robust and more resilient lending environment.

At the same time, mortgage rates continue to hold multi-decade lows. For this, we can again thank the Federal Reserve, which continues to purchase $40 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities each month, thus creating a demand that has helped keep rates low.

Though our record at predicting mortgage rates has been spotty, to say the least, it's worth noting that it appears more likely the Fed will cease purchasing mortgage-backed securities sometime in 2014. When the purchases stop, mortgage rates are sure to rise.

In short, this might be the perfect time to buy a home: prices are rising from a low basis, and buyers can finance their purchase with a low-cost loan. How long the perfect time lasts is anyone's guess, but we wouldn't be surprised to see something give – perhaps the price trend or low mortgage rates – by early 2014.

 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 don@donroth.com.