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Real estate trend: More homes on the market as prices go up

Monday - 9/9/2013, 4:24am  ET

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With more houses on the market, sellers shouldn't have a harder time getting their homes under contract. (WTOP File)

Housing prices on the rise

WTOP's Joan Jones reports

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WASHINGTON - The housing market has its seasons mixed up. What normally happens in the spring is just starting to take place: more people are putting their homes on the market.

Why is that? Ron Sitrin at Long & Foster says it's because homes have been selling at higher prices lately -- and that pulls the value of other homes up along with them.

"They were underwater and as prices have continued to go up, many of those sellers are finally getting an opportunity to sell because they now have enough equity in their homes to do so," Sitrin says.

With more houses on the market, sellers shouldn't have a harder time getting their homes under contract, Sitrin says.

"As long as it's priced right, this still is a sellers' market and it's going to sell," he says.

On the flip side, more homes on the market give buyers more choices.

"For the first time in many months, they actually find more breathing room to buy a house," he says.

Sitrin says the breathing room, however, has more to do with time. Buyers may not have to scramble to put an offer in on a house that will disappear from the market before they have the chance to act.

But when it comes to affordability, buyers may find the market even tighter.

"For the buyer that's out there thinking about buying, it's become harder because of prices and interest rates," Sitrin says.

House prices continue to rise in D.C. and in surrounding markets, while interest rates slowly tick higher. This means buyers will need more skin in the game to swing the monthly house payment they can afford.

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