Philadelphia's housing market may hold your dream home

The housing market is certainly in flux nationwide. Homebuyers are unsure if now is the right time to buy, forcing sellers to remain in their homes until trends change. With Baby Boomers rapidly aging, many older homeowners are putting off their retirement plans, which may bring home inventories down in some areas of the United States.

However, real estate in Philadelphia, PA, has seen a few different trends, with home inventory rates climbing 3.7 percent on a month-over-month basis in May 2012, the Department of Numbers reports. The median asking price also rose, albeit slightly, by 0.1 percent, bringing the total to $175,000.

The national housing market continues to improve, and while foreclosure statistics have fallen off, many local markets are outshining national averages. Philadelphia is not skyrocketing forward or anything, but people have found stable grounds, and median asking prices have made up some ground lost in the past few years. All in all, the Philadelphia market has experienced a 6.9 percent median asking price decline on a year-over-year basis, but with the Spring buying season creeping closer, numbers may begin to paint a different picture.

A March 2012 index measuring sales contracts for previously owned homes rose  to its highest level since April 2010, The Inquirer reports. The 4.1 percent rise may have given the housing market a boost. With inventory numbers on the rise in the City of Brotherly Love, and foreclosure rates tapering off nationwide, the rise in listings may be a direct result of an increase in buyer confidence in the market.

Of course, the housing market continues to struggle nationwide, and while some local regions may see renewed signs of life, a bulk of new home closings may come from local buyers looking to upgrade or move closer to amenities. Homebuyers who have recently introduced new members of the family to the world or need some extra space may be able to find affordable housing in today's market, as sellers are eager to relieve themselves of homeownership.

The national market may be climbing out of its hole slowly, but it's important for buyers to be cautious when shopping for new homes. Doing the proper amount of research and getting finances in line may lead to a successful home closing, and rushing through the processes may prove detrimental down the line.