As a local mortgage lender I have noticed the slow but steady increase in values for about a year now. The national news is starting to notice as well. I have read several news articles stating the rapid increase in home prices. If you have been searching for a home in the past several months you know how competitive the market is. Most of the contracts that come across my desk have been in multiple offers situations and this is how home prices start to increase. Utah is such a unique state when it comes to value decreases and value increases. Even though we saw our homes lose value from 2008-2011 the decrease in value was not as severe as the national numbers. Utah’s strong economy, youthful and entrepreneurial workforce has excelled in the down economy. In 2013, the Utah valley will actually see a shortage of available existing homes on the market. This is evident by talking with my clients and realtors about the current inventory. One of the most frustrating aspects for a new homeowner is low inventory. This has led to local home builders pulling more permits than they have pulled since 2006. If everything plays out the way it is looking new construction will continue to lead the market in 2013. We expect rates to stay low for most of the 2013 year but, as the economy heats up we will see rates slowly rise towards the end of the year. If you are thinking of purchasing a new home now is the ideal time to lock in on low rates and low home prices before they start increasing.