The Jones Report

Courtesy of Sally Foster Jones of Coldwell Banker Previews International Southern California

2013 is going to be a fantastic year for real estate! 2012 closed out strong, posting some of the largest price increases in years. December ended with large numbers of luxury home closings and Southern California experienced one of the strongest years since 2007. All of this is setting the stage as we enter into the first quarter of 2013. We are expecting to see more of the same throughout the year with tight inventory, attractive interest rates, eager buyers, and increased interest from investors and builders.

This was an extraordinary year end with many more closings than usual especially at the high end of the market. According to the National Association of Realtors, November home sales over $1 million were up 51% from the year previous. A major reason behind this push to close in 2012 was the incentive to take advantage of lower tax rates before the New Year and uncertainty over the fiscal cliff budget discussions. (CNN Money)

Overall we are continuing to see signs of an improving real estate market. On a National level, home prices reached the highest percentage gain in over 2 years with only 2 of 20 cities posting small price declines. Southern California also posted large price gains at the end of last year. "Last year was the first year of solid improvement since housing crashed in 2007. The strong performance last month indicates that 2012 will also continue to bring home price gains, analysts said (LA TIMES)." Home prices and sales reached their highest December numbers in the past three years while supply has dwindled to an approximately 2 ½ month supply.

I am looking forward to a successful 2013 with more of the same: increased sales and higher prices. As inventory remains low, prices begin to climb, and demand from buyers with unprecedented home affordability continues, this year will shape up to be an excellent year to buy or sell.