National housing trends affect local Boston metro markets

Evidence of improvement in the United States housing market continues to mount, as new reports indicate that sales of new and existing homes increased. According to the Wall Street Journal, sales of existing homes were projected to climb to 4.6 million in April 2012 from 4.48 million seen in March 2012. Currently, sales are running more than 5 percent above numbers seen last year. This may bode well for home sellers looking to market their real estate in Boston, MA, as sales trends show more people are willing to invest in property today than a month ago.

The news source also reports final sales numbers of new homes are expected to rise slightly to 330,000 in April 2012 from 328,000 the previous month, which is nearly 8 percent above last year's rate. While the precession peak of 1.39 million in mid-2005 is a long ways away, positive signs of growth can drive consumer confidence up and influence nationwide market stability.

With warmer weather just around the corner, prospective homebuyers may be more inclined to invest in property. Here are three trends several housing experts foresee becoming prevalent this season.

The flat market is a mixed bag
Sales and construction numbers have been all over the place in 2012, and experts believe they're likely to stay volatile as the year moves forward. There are numerous factors playing into buyer uncertainty, and while employment opportunities and the specter of the housing crisis play major roles, other current events like a contentious presidential race paint an uncertain picture of the future.

Bidding wars
While not every community or metro area will experience an uptick in bidding wars, certain markets will have more than their fair share. Homes for sale in Boston are currently in demand, and buyers may compete with one another to come away with the prize. This may not be a national trend, but Boston buyers might be duking it out over properties in various neighborhoods today.

Foreclosures
Home price data shows that many real estate markets have seen a dramatic decline in values over the past few years, largely due to an increase in foreclosures. This may make homes in certain areas more affordable than ever before and provoke uncertain homebuyers into making investments in their future.

The housing market may be stalled, but the spring season looks to bring new activity. Home sellers looking to relieve their home ownership responsibilities might find a plethora of buyers as the warmer months pass by.