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Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
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Housing Facts

Fun housing facts

Cookies courtesy of Christine Yocum at Art and Style Baking

While doing research for presenting 15 Ways to Grow Your Business at the amazing assembly of real estate agents at the Century 21 Global Conference held in Las Vegas this month, I wanted a snapshot of what was going on in the housing market.

Mary’s summary: Houses are still cheap and interest rates are low. Buy now.

Why? Interest rates, while low now, are going to increase in the next year, according to Fed Chair Janet Yellen yesterday as the Fed stopping trying to stimulate the economy. Housing prices are still at low bargain prices. So if you are on the fence, find a good realtor and start looking.

Houses are cheap? I thought the market was picking up?

Yes. Home prices in the US increased nationwide by 10.9% in 2013, increasing the average home sales price by $30,000 up to $215,000, so if you were a seller, that was positive.

Sellers in 2013 also saw homes selling quickly.

For 2014 prices are still increasing, but prices will probably increase more slowly.

Buyers in 2013 tried to take advantage of relatively affordable home prices and low interest rates. Despite the increase in home sale prices in 2013, prices are still 31.5% below their 2006 peak.

Buyers are still finding good deals, and as the market swings upward, houses will become more expensive.

Families are also spending, as a percentage, less of their total household income on their mortgages. In 2006, the average family allocated 23.5% of their income to pay their house payments, and in 2013 it was just 15.6%.

Mary is grateful to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Report of January 2014 for some of these statistics.

Mary’s commentary is merely her opinion, and she strongly recommends that you consult an accountant, a realtor, a banker, your employer, your spouse, and your own crystal ball to see if now is the right time to jump into home ownership.


  1. Regina Bright

    Great post full of great information! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Sandi Coryell

    Great info, Mary! It’s great to know the specifics of where things seem to be headed. Appreciate the post!

  3. Fred Mcmurray

    In the Chicagoland area we have rumbles about a pickup in foreclosures and the potential to impact sales prices of existing homes. Is there the potential for the same thing to happen in other markets?

  4. Gina Carr

    Great info, Mary. I was an owner/broker of a Century 21 in Atlanta for over a decade. I consistently won the “Top Team” award in the state. I had an awesome team and loved the company.

    It is encouraging to see prices increasing. I am still amazed at how much things have changed since I sold my real estate business at the end of 2005. My crystal ball was spot on!

  5. Mary Kelly

    Gina,I did not know you were a broker! How cool are you!

    I was a Century 21 agent with Kahala Hale on Oahu for 10 years, and I was delighted to be part of the Century 21 Global Conference.

    Century 21 is doing some exciting things to really help their agents and brokers, including partnering with Google and Videolicious.

    By the way, in my list of websites and people to follow to grow their business I list YOU, at I

    As Terry Brock might say, real estate is all about consumer confidence and behavior, and that is why it is so interesting.

    I think potential buyers might be wise to buy sooner rather than later, as they will face increasing interest rates in 2015.

    Thanks for your note!

  6. Mary Kelly

    Hi Fred,
    Chicago is a great city!
    I hope it recovers fast. It was hit hard by the mortgage crisis but not as badly as the really hard hit areas, like NV and FL. There should be fewer foreclosures available, according to national statistics, so that should help homes prices inch higher.
    Thank you for the question!

  7. Maggie DeGennaro

    Good information to know. I see I have some past Real Estate folks on my friends list…

  8. Mary Kelly

    Real estate is awesome! There is a book by Herman de Soto, The Mystery of Capital, which talks about why capitalism works or doesn’t, and why countries prosper or not.
    The ability of a government to set and enforce fair property use laws is a huge determinant in how well that economy works.
    Real estate rocks!

  9. Scott Glaze

    Good to know! Thank you for the valuable info~

  10. Carly Alyssa Thorne

    Great post Mary, I love the fact that you bring such various topics to light where it be you are talking about veterans transitioning or entrepreneurship or the economy you always bring valuable tips and tools to the viewer and I thank you for that… Thanks for more valuable insights on House hunting.

  11. Miriam Slozberg

    Thanks for sharing Mary, this is great info to know, and its the same in Canada too, especially in big cities like Toronto as well as Vancouver.

  12. Sharon O'Day

    This market has rebounded so unevenly around the country! Everyone tells a different story. I’ve been looking at real estate in South Florida and there seems to have been a (temporary?) drop in pricing this first quarter. Maybe prices were run up too far too fast, and are making a correction? In any case, it’s rarely a straight line …


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