The real estate market has had its ups and downs over the years but it finally seems as though we are in the midst of a recovery. It was a mere six months ago that we were in a completely different state of mind when it came to which party was on the beneficial side of the spectrum – the buyer or the seller. It’s because of this that we wanted to point out some key components of what makes Spring 2013 different from Spring 2012 in terms of the market, and what it means for both parties.

In a recent article from MSN Real Estate, 8 significant points were highlighted to help instruct readers on how to best navigate through this changing environment. Here are just a few bullet points:

  • A New Mortgage Rule Will Protect Buyers from Shady Lenders – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has recently created the Ability to Repay rule, which ensures that prospective buyers are actually able to repay their mortgage loans. This rule doesn’t officially take effect until January of 2014, but it will be utilized by most lenders at some point this year. It will require that the borrower’s financial information be supplied and verified by the lenders, and be used to prove that the borrower has the ability to pay back the loan that they are being set up for.
  • Homes are More Expensive – But Not by Much – “An improving economy and low interest rates have boosted buyer demand in most markets, decreasing supply and raising prices.” Clear Capital, a data company that offers clients intelligent valuation solutions for properties, expects that home prices will only rise about 2.1% nationally during 2013. Though the housing market will undoubtedly experience upward growth, it will be modest for the time being.
  • Home-Equity Loan Rates Drop – With rates on home-equity loans continuing to fall, more and more homeowners are looking to undergo those remodeling projects that they’ve been putting off for years now. back in November of 2012, the average rate for a fixed-rate home-equity long was at 6.3%. Since then, that percentage has dropped moderately, falling to 6% in the beginning of January 2013. As the economy recovers and home values continue to increase, we’ll see many more lenders be willing to make these kinds of loans.

To view the fill list of changes for the 2013 housing market, visit MSN Real Estate. Let us know which points we’re most shocking to you and which you’re most excited to see unfold over the remainder of the year.