US National Housing Price Increase a Modest Six Percent

It's been an interesting summer. Housing prices continue to rise (which stumps me) and some areas are still red hot. While the national US average is only a 6% increase overall, some areas are still in the double digits. Go figure.

In some cases, it's not whole urban areas, but only select neighborhoods. Take Seattle, for instance. I was perusing an article that used data from Zillow and it shows that some areas of Seattle have seen price increases of an astonishing 48.5% (that would be the Windermere area) versus the downtown which has actually seen a decline in housing prices (by just over 9%). So, the stats can be deceiving. You might see an article that says that the Seattle area is booming, when in fact it's certain locations within Seattle and not the whole city.

The good news overall is that housing hasn't seen the "bubble" burst yet -- and may not at all. A soft landing would seem to be the worst case scenario, based on how the economy keeps chugging along at a reasonable level. At the same time, the Fed is being smart and has put the brakes on increases in the interest rate, so that any correction should be mild. All of us (especially those of us with ARMs coming due) can heave a bit of a sigh of relief.

Don't know what the value of your house is? Have you checked out Zillow yet? If you live in Canada, you can check out HouseValues.ca to find out the value of your abode. One warning: if you make use of HouseValues.ca, your request for information on the value of your home will be sent to a real estate professional who will contact you with the assesment. (Obviously, this is a great way for a real estate agent to identify a person who is looking to sell.)

Michael

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