Did you buy or sell real estate in 2012? Or had you hoped to? Did lower home prices in 2012 keep you in your old house?
According to the National Association of Realtors, the housing market in 2012 wasn't as bad as you might have thought. Some 5 million existing homes sold in 2012, and home prices in 2012 were up about two percent. That's not a huge gain but at least it was a gain.
As far as new homes go, only a fraction of that number sold in 2012—about 368,000, so says the Department of Housing and Urban Development. And the trend in real estate going forward isn't much better for 2013 new construction. With fewer new homes on the market, experts expect those buying a new house or home in the coming year to be at an all time low.
Another trend in real estate from this past year that doesn't bode well for the future? Nearly one-quarter of U.S. homeowners are living in homes worth less than what they own on their mortgage—know as being underwater. On the bright side, the Home Affordable Refinance or HARP program debuted, giving refinance relief to those underwater homeowners and mortgage holders.
In a February 2012 post, I pondered whether it was better to buy or rent a home in the current housing market and with home prices in 2012 the way they are.
Even though HARP was there to help, millions of homeowners still found themselves in foreclosure. Celebrities aren't even immune to foreclosure headaches.
Speaking of celebrities, even the sagging real estate market didn't stop certain famous faces from putting their homes on the market, and at some pretty impressive selling prices. Here are photos of 10 celebrity homes that were for sale in 2012:
- Alan Thicke listed his California house for $3.8 million.
- Megan Mullally and husband Nick Offerman are selling their Hollywood Hills house for $12.65 million.
- Alan Jackson's Tennessee home for sale is actually a private compound on an island!
- Ben Stiller has a swanky New York City apartment for sale for $9.6 million.
- Warren Beatty and Annette Bening tried to rent their Beverly Hills home but decided to sell it instead. Price? Nearly $7 million.
- Edie Falco's Tribeca (New York City) apartment is selling for $5.5 million.
- Billy Joel wants to move out of his Miami home, listing it at $14 million.
- Barry Manilow has been trying to sell his $7 million Malibu home for a couple of years now.
- Dick Clark died before his California home sold.
- Kirstie Alley has a house for sale in Maine.