INFOGRAPHIC: Real Estate is Back!

The results of a recent survey of 2,430 real estate professionals on ActiveRain, a real estate social network, found overwhelming optimism that the U.S. housing market will improve in 2013. Survey respondents expressed confidence that every aspect of the U.S. real estate market – from home prices to new construction starts – will increase in the upcoming year. Real estate agents across most of the country believe their local markets will see improvements, even in states still plagued by foreclosures.

The RealEstate.com team created the following infographic based on the results of the ActiveRain survey. A breakdown of the infographic data can be found below.

Real Estate Infographic

 

The 2013 U.S. Real Estate Market

Real estate professionals believe that the future is bright for every aspect of the U.S. real estate market. This optimism represents a significant change from what they felt in the wake of the housing market collapse, even up until a year ago.

Of the agents who took the survey, 84 percent believe that both real estate values and transactions will increase during 2013. While rising housing prices may seem undesirable to some consumers, the 14 million American homeowners with negative equity will be glad to see their homes finally appreciate in value.

The survey also found that 77 percent of agents believe new construction starts will increase. These are excellent tidings considering the long-standing inventory gluts that have plagued many markets.

Another statistic that real estate professionals and consumers can both appreciate: 74 percent of real estate agents believe local economies will improve next year.

Regional Real Estate Trends

While real estate professionals from across the U.S. expressed confidence that their local markets will improve in 2013, the survey results make it clear that the brightest markets will be those hit hardest by the housing market crash.

Agents in Arizona, California and Florida, states that are still struggling to recover from the tidal wave of foreclosures they experienced in the late 2000s, expect to see significant appreciation in real estate values in 2013 and for many years to come. Their recoveries have partially been helped by institutional investors, banks and investment groups that have snapped up foreclosed homes as investment opportunities.

Perhaps the most impressive housing market in the country at the moment belongs to Texas. Four of its markets – Dallas-Fort Worth, Austin, Houston and San Antonio – were identified by real estate professionals as those that will experience impressive growth for many years. This optimism is largely based on Texas’s hot economy. The state’s high levels of infrastructure and technology led CNBC to name it the best in the country for business and corporations have flocked to Texas to take advantage of its low taxes and wages.

The Lone Star State’s real estate market is also helped by the fact that its largest cities have the unusual quality of inexpensive housing. Unlike pricey metros like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, Houston and Dallas have real estate values and costs of living that are well below the national median. It is unclear whether increased demand for Texan real estate will cause these to spike dramatically, but it is unlikely that living in Texas will ever cost as much as it does in states like New York, California and Hawaii.

On the opposite end of the scale, the East Coast’s real estate market continues to be relatively uninspiring. This is largely due to the region’s relatively high taxes, high cost of living and sluggish economy. Nature has also played a role in hampering the East Coast housing market recovery: modest gains in real estate values and transactions in states like New Jersey and New York were slowed by the devastating Hurricane Sandy.

Andy Fulton is a community manager for RealEstate.com. He has more than three years of experience with blogging, outreach, and managing social media accounts for a handful of companies and non-profit organizations in the Seattle area.