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Recently, CEO Spencer Rascoff was on CBS News with tips on buying, selling and renting homes, and insight on current trends in the housing market.

You can see the entire interview here:

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reports that sales of existing homes in the United States reached their highest level since 2006 last year. According to Rascoff, the housing market has been appreciating about three percent year over year, but this varies by region. Among the top cities are Denver, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Richmond – areas teeming with jobs in the technology industry and strong local economies.

In general, home values have increased about 70 percent year over year in the last 17 years, but interestingly those near a Starbucks were up about 100 percent in the same period. Rascoff advised future buyers to look for homes near Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s locations, where values were up highest topping 140 percent – twice that of the normal American home. His take on this was that both of these companies do a lot of good research into which neighborhoods will support them, and it’s a good bet to invest in those areas.

IMG_5116Whit Harvey Group listing in Cross Keys is only 1 mile away from Mt. Washington, where there is a Whole Foods, Starbucks, and a variety of locally owned shops and restaurants. In addition to the convenience, the small townhome may fit the bill for those people making the transition from renting to owning.


Rascoff said the decision to purchase a home should also rely on a specific “crossover point” when you no longer want to rent, which is determined by how long you intend to live there. On average nationwide, you should purchase a home if you will be there for two or more years.

NAR reports that the total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 12.3 percent to 1.79 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 3.8 percent lower than a year ago (1.86 million). Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in November and the lowest since January 2005 (3.6 months).

*Source CBS News and National Association of Realtors.

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