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Home prices rising at fast pace

There are some positive signs for Maryland real estate investors, as home prices are continuing to rise. On Dec. 29, an announcement was made that the S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values rose by 5.5 percent for 20 U.S. cities from October 2014 to October 2015. Previously, data for the same cities showed that home prices had risen by 5.4 percent for the year ended September 2015. Home prices rose by 5.2 percent nationally.

Analysts say that rising property values are partially due to the limited supply of properties. Cities such as Denver, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, are contributing to the rise in overall home prices as those cities saw 10.9 percent annual gains. The smallest increase in home prices was in Chicago, where home prices went up by just 1.3 percent.

Job growth is another factor that analysts say is helping to keep property values up. As more people have jobs, there is continued demand for houses by new buyers. Despite the Federal Reserve's December 2015 decision to raise interest rates, mortgage rates still remain low enough to attract buyers. The chairman of the S&P index committee said that growth in the economy and low inflation are contributing to the rise in home prices.

As home prices rise, commercial real estate investors may start to think about selling or leasing some of the properties that they have invested in. An attorney may be able to advise a commercial real estate investor about various real estate transactions such as leases and purchase agreements. If a dispute arises over a piece of real estate, an attorney may help an investor with litigation.

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