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5 real estate trends to watch for in 2013,

"Southeast Michigan's real estate market is making great strides,” Jeanette Schneider, vice president of RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan, said in a release. “Without question, we are on the road to recovery.”

With that optimism in mind, here are the five things the agency said it expects to see in 2013:

"Home prices will continue to rise.

According to RE/MAX data, the average home-sale price in metro Detroit in December 2011 was $108,000. In December 2012, the amount rose to $130,000. RE/MAX predicts that buyer demand for homes in good condition will continue to drive prices up.

Home inventories will remain low.

Home inventories were low throughout metro Detroit in 2012 as the local economy continued to recover. There were, however, many eager buyers willing to take advantage of historically low interest rates. As a result, homes in good condition were on the market for fewer days and bidding wars on homes in desirable areas were common. RE/MAX expects this trend to continue throughout 2013.

Low mortgage rates will continue.

Historically low interest rates will continue to make 2013 an excellent time to purchase a home. While mortgage rates are often difficult to predict in this current market, many mortgage experts anticipate thirty-year mortgage rates to rise only slightly in 2013. The overall trend of low interest rates is expected to continue throughout 2013.

Extension of the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act will help struggling homeowners.

In 2007, Congress passed the Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act under which homeowners were not responsible for the taxable debt resulting from a short sale. The tax break was originally set to expire Dec. 31, 2012. Congress recently voted to extend the Act as part of the Fiscal Cliff package. The tax break will allow struggling homeowners to work with a qualified real-estate agent to pursue the short-sale process as opposed to foreclosure.

Overall market conditions will continue to improve throughout metro Detroit.

RE/MAX of Southeastern Michigan experienced positive growth throughout 2012 and expects the trend to continue throughout 2013 as metro Detroit's economy continues to improve. 2013 will remain an excellent time to purchase a home."

David Muller


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