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Seattle Leads Rising Housing Market

The news gets better for some U.S. cities seeing a "lag" effect and, as a result, prices rising more toward the second half of 2013.

"On a local level, we expect to see shifts in the status quo for some hot markets, like Phoenix, as some buyer segments get priced out of recovering markets," Villacorta notes. "As those buyers search for opportunities, markets with improving local economies and low price points, like Minneapolis, could become the new targets."

Clear Capital expects significant growth in cities such as Seattle (a 2013 estimate of 13.5% home price appreciation), Birmingham, Ala., (10% estimate), and Bakersfield and Fresno, Calif. (about 7.9% growth).

But don't get too excited if you live in Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis, where home prices will continue to depreciate, albeit slowly.

Growth does vary by region. The West, for example, saw a remarkable 11.8% spike in home values last year and an estimated 2.8% rise in 2013. But the South saw home prices rise by only 4% last year, with an estimated 2% hike this year.

The Midwest experienced 3% home price gains last year, with an outlook for 2.3% growth now. Lagging the field is the Northeast, where home prices appreciated by 2% last year and see growth estimates of 1.4%.

All in all, its good news for the U.S. homeowners, who may finally see some decent forward traction in terms of their home values. In that regard, 2013 may be a lucky number after all.

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