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As if limited resale inventory didn’t have prospective buyers anxious enough, the S&P’s latest Case-Shiller Index showed the biggest year-over-year increase in home value since August 2006.

Wait — did it just become a seller’s market?

Single-family home values in the nation’s 20 largest markets saw an average increase of 5.5 percent in November. Though impressive, those numbers actually fell slightly short of what many economists predicted. Still, it’s a sign the housing market is finding the right path, building on the momentum of a much-improved 2012 building season.

Near-record low mortgage rates have prospective buyers across the country ready to pounce, and with single-family homes regaining some of the value they lost during the housing recession, the pressure is now on buyers to  not only find a desirable home, but purchase it before it appreciates beyond their budget.

Some believe the tight inventory could lead to increased building activity:

“We do expect appreciation for the full year of 2013 to be much more moderate as these home price gains pull some sellers back into the market and new construction picks up,” said Stan Humphries, chief economist at real estate website Zillow. “Annualized appreciation will get even higher before the year is over.”

What impact do you expect improving home values will have on the marketplace?


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