In 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home sales were at their fastest pace since Feb. 2007, when they were 5.79 million. In addition, home sales have remained above year-ago levels for the past 26 months. During the first 11 months of 2013, construction spending totaled $828.4 billion, 5 percent above the same period in 2012. U.S. housing starts jumped to the highest level in five years last year, and housing starts in November rose 22.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of more than 1 million, the strongest month for housing starts since February 2008, nearly six years ago.
That being said, 2013 may have started off a bit rocky – inventory levels and appraisal issues didn’t help – but after the last half of the year, it seems housing is in a good position to continue its recovery, and this year looks to be another good year for the residential market. Yet, there are a few factors in the mix – rising mortgage rates, uncertain buyer demand and low inventory levels, for example – that have some questioning if 2014 can be a “comeback” year, as many experts predicted it would be right after the market bottomed. Or will it be a year of uncertainty?