USA Today: Home prices expected to rise through 2017

There's promising news on the horizon for homeowners beat-up by the nation's rocky housing market.

On Wednesday, The USA Today published an article indicating American home prices will rise four percent a year, for the next five years. If that predication comes true, it would mark the first nationwide housing boom since the pre-2007 era.

While South Bend is poised to see modest gains, it will likely be less than the Phoenix-Mesa Ariz. metropolitan area, which witnessed a 23 percent spike in median house listing prices over the last year. After all, cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas were hit painstakingly hard, while most of Indiana saw a decline of a lesser magnitude.

"I think South Bend is one of these cities that has so much more to offer than at first glance. Regardless, I think we're still going to do well,” South Bend Residential Marketing Specialist Sue Solmos said.

According to property finding website, Realtor.com, the median list price of American homes rose 5.56 percent between March 2011 and March of this year.

During that same time, Fort Wayne saw a rise of seven percent, while Indianapolis went-up 4.25 percent. Although South Bend only increased by 2.6 percent, experts say continued growth will be seen.

"I think people here are coming out thinking it's a great time to buy. I mean look at all the houses and the prices are still good and the interest rates are great, why wouldn't you buy,” Weichert Realty agent Rachel Thompson said.

In Thompson’s opinion, house prices are up because more people are buying, creating a classic case of supply and demand.

"It means there are more buyers coming out of the woodwork and they're excited about buying and no longer feeling cautious about their job situations,” Thompson added.

For instance, after sitting stagnant for 11 straight months, two buyers placed an offer on a Clay Township home last month, which in turn boosted the sale price. A similar scenario unfolded at a newly remodeled property in South Bend's Edison Park neighborhood.

Thompson says this time last year, two offers in one week on one house, would have been unheard of.

"It's really good now and I think it will be great next year and the year following that,” Thompson concluded.

If you'd like to view Realtor.com’s interactive spreadsheet on housing sales, just click on the Big Red Bar.


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