Ah, the last day of the year. Time to celebrate and begin looking forward to good times in 2013. Some of you have been waiting for a good time to buy and/or sell a home. And many of the experts are cautiously optimistic that 2013 will be a better time for that than 2012 was. Let's take a look at what they're saying now:

Home Prices should continue to rise, although modestly. That should mean an increase in new construction. And more homeowners, who have been underwater on their mortgages, will be comfortable putting their home on the market. Rental prices are expected to continue to increase, making buying a home, in some markets, more attractive. Foreclosures are expected to decline, while short sales will increase. This means fewer foreclosure bargains will be available.
Getting a mortgage will continue to be more difficult than it was before the crash, but could get a bit easier as more qualified buyers enter the market and competition for their business heats up. And new mortgage rules to be announced in January by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may also have an impact on the availability of mortgage credit. Congress may try to cut the Mortgage Interest Deduction. That would make it more expensive to own a house and might reduce home values.
Mortgage rates are expected to rise. They've been at historic lows throughout 2012. Analysts at the Urban Land Institute and Barclay's see rates going up slowly over the course of the year, driven by improvements in the market.
What all this comes down to is that the very best time to buy or sell in the coming year is going to be difficult to determine. That's just one of the reasons you and I should talk about your plans for 2013. Working together, we can identify the market factors and your personal situation and come up with a plan.
For more information, these are the sources for this post:

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
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