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HOME VALUES RISE

The national median home value has careened to over $200,000 for the first time, with a 7.4 percent annual gain rocketing it to a new high of $200,400, according to the Zillow Home Value Index.
Values are on a swift upswing due to low levels of supply and spiking demand. There are now 11 percent fewer homes for sale compared to one year ago.
“The national housing market remains red hot and shows no signs of slowing, even as some local markets like the Bay Area have noticeably cooled,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “But even in areas where the housing market has slowed, home values are at or very near peak levels, selection is limited, demand is high and competition is fierce.”
Gudell advises, “Given these high costs and high competition, the most important thing you can do is get your finances in order so you know what you can comfortably afford, and find an agent who has experience with bidding wars and will help you stand out in a competitive market, especially if you’re buying for the first time.”

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