Missouri Home Prices Inch Up, Helping Owners Re-Gain Equity

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COLUMBIA - A Tuesday report shows the trajectory of U.S. home prices has been on a significant rise, and many Missouri sellers have not missed out on the increases in prices.

The latest Case-Schiller Index shows the largest year over year increase since 2006, from January 2012 to January 2013. The index is a widely-followed housing indicator and the data comes from the nation's 20 largest metropolitan areas. The index jumped 8.1 percent from January 2012.

Statewide, the median home price increased by 5.5 percent in the same period. Homes also spent an average of ten fewer days on the market.

Jefferson City Realtor Bunnie Cotton said it is a good time for buyers to enter the market.

"When you purchase it you know its going to be appreciating instead of it staying at a plateau or depreciating," Cotton said.

However, Cotton said she does not expect to see a rapid increase in prices in Jefferson City.

"We have always seen an appreciation, but it's always been a conservative one, it hasn't been drastic," Cotton said. "I don't think that's going to change."

According to Jefferson City Board of REALTORS data, the year-to-date median home sale price in the area is $129,500, up from $124,000 in 2012.

Data from the Columbia Board of REALTORS indicate prices have only inched forward in Boone County. The median price has only increased by $350 in the year-to-date while the average year-to-date price has decreased.

However, in Columbia the number of sales has increased. Realtors sold 187 homes in January and February of this year, compared to 152 homes in those months this year. A recent national report shows that home sales decreased by 4.6 percent in February 2013 from their January totals. Economists blame poor weather for the drop in sales.