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Home Prices Improving in Most Major Cities

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There's good news for people trying to sell their homes. The latest housing index shows home prices are going up here and across the country.

Rising prices help people who have lost equity in their homes and those trying to sell. But here in Northern Nevada, buyers are having to hustle to find something to buy.

Nevada's housing market has been in a mess for the past five years. The Silver State led the nation in foreclosures and new home construction all but stopped.

Now that's changed.

"The October numbers were almost a 20% increase from last year at this time, so the rest of the nation is now seeing what we've been experiencing for about six months," says Kevin Sigstad with ReMax Premier Properties.

The latest Case-Shiller index shows home prices have increased 3.6% nationwide. Home prices have risen in 18 of 20 major cities, including Las Vegas. Phoenix had the largest increase at 20.4%; Las Vegas saw a 3.8% jump.

Houses are so scarce right now sellers are getting multiple offers.

"One of my agents was telling me last week that he has submitted 20 offers on homes and got beaten out on every single one," said Sigstad. "It's just this dynamic of lots of buyers and very few homes for sale."

So where are some of these new buyers coming from?

"The population continued to age, so you've got all these kids that were in college that are now coming out of college, all these kids that were in high school coming out of high school, and they're in the market," explains Sigstad.

He adds interest rates are at historic lows; sometimes just over 3% for a 30-year fixed mortgage.

"It's driving a lot of people into the market to buy," said Sigstad. "It's cheaper to buy than to rent and yes there's a shortage of homes so we're seeing the prices go up."

This shortage of homes may last well into next year, as homebuilders work to catch up to demand.

But Sigstad says it's still a good time to buy.

"It's an unbelievably good time. Affordable housing, affordable interest rates, affordable payments."

Written by Jennifer Burton

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