We've reported frequently on the encouraging data on home prices. The most recent encouraging data comes courtesy of Zillow, which shows that home prices inched 0.1 percent higher in August, with the average home price moving to $172,600. Zillow's data also show that the national foreclosure rate dropped to 9.2 homes out of every 10,000 homes, down from 10.9 homes out of every 10,000 in 2010.

Unfortunately, the good vibes on pricing and foreclosures were tempered by a warning that foreclosures will accelerate once the controversial robo-signing imbroglio passes. In fact, Zillow believes foreclosure inventory will pressure home prices and that prices won't bottom until 2012 “at the earliest.”It's possible we could see national average and median home prices fall. Locally, prices could just as easily fall, stagnate, or rise. In fact, a rise might be more in the offing for many local markets. After all, national data is skewed by a few regions – Nevada , Arizona , Central Florida and Central California . Overall, we still see prices firming and rising in many markets, though that trend might not be reflected in national numbers.

As for mortgage rates, we can say categorically that they have been rising nationally and locally since last Friday, thanks in part to an employment report that showed the economy created more jobs in September than most economists had expected. In many markets, rates were up 20 basis points on the 30-year fixed-rate loan. This shouldn't come as a surprise; the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note – the foundation for long-term mortgages – has risen 35 basis-points over the past 10 days.

To be sure, mortgage rates could reverse course and return to the long-term down trend, but there is a real danger to a strategy predicated on returning to the long-term trend in a market that has been trending higher; that is the obvious: the short-term trend might not reverse.

Another danger is supply and demand. Falling mortgage rates do stimulate demand, but if supply isn't rising at an accommodating pace, there is no guarantee that an ultra-low mortgage rate will be filled. Loans, like all good and services, are rationed by price. If you can get a higher price for your product, you get it.In short, if someone is satisfied with his rate, the best strategy is to ignore the daily vicissitudes and lock. Regret is a tough emotion to overcome, particularly in a market that is showing signs of wanting to move higher.

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.