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It’s Not Just in the Eye of the Beholder

By Ryan Schuette

U.S. home values leapt up by 5.5 percent since last September, reflecting the fastest rise in appreciation for more than two years, according to Zillow.

The Seattle-based real-estate company disclosed the findings in a September Real Estate Market Report it released on Thursday.

Zillow found a median home value of $189,400.

According to the report, there were 6 percent fewer homes up for grabs than there were a year ago. This comes as a result of steady declines in housing inventory and increased demand in the housing market.

Boston and Indianapolis saw the most significant declines in the number of homes for sale over the past year, down 26 percent and 25 percent, respectively.

"Increasingly strong demand has been contributing to dwindling inventory stocks across the nation," Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist for Zillow, said in a statement. "Healthy demand for for-sale homes amidst low inventory has been driving the market.”

This is “another sign that the housing market is recovering nicely,” Gudell added.

By comparison, rents crept ahead by 1.5 percent over the past year, reaching a Zillow Rent Index of $1,403.

The highest year-over-year rent appreciations took place in cities like Seattle, Portland, and Sacramento, for which Zillow reported year-over-year changes of 9.3 percent, 7 percent, and 5.8 percent.

According to Zillow, bidding wars are also on the rise as homebuyers scramble to lock down competitive home purchases.

“Buyers in the nation's fastest moving markets can expect the search process to last a few months, as market conditions are often extremely competitive with homes selling for above asking price and receiving multiple offers,” Gudell said. “It's definitely a seller's market right now, with some homes being more expensive than ever."

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Harding University graduate with a degree in English and a minor in writing. He is a contributing writer for MReport. An East Texas Native, he has studied abroad in Athens, Greece and works part-time as a photographer.

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