Since 2008, fluctuating real estate trends have been a thorn in the side of many Americans. Though times have been tough in recent years, it appears that the worst is behind us. In fact, signs throughout the country appear to show that the recovery process is well on its way.

 The US Housing Market

According to Forbes, the US housing market in August of 2013 was reported as 67 percent back to normal. This percentage was calculated by measuring three things:

The Amount of Construction: While construction was only reported at 40 percent of the normal level, it did dramatically increase from previous reports. In August construction was up 1 percent from July and up 19 percent from 2012.

How Many Homes Are Being Sold: The sale of existing homes was also up 13 percent from last year’s numbers. This means that home sales are 99 percent back to normal.

Foreclosure Rates:  The foreclosure and delinquency rates dropped 8.66 percent in August to the lowest level since the housing crisis began in 2008. This calculates to being around 60 percent back to normal.

 The Philadelphia Housing Market

Like the overall US picture, the real estate outlook in Philadelphia is improving. According to, several East Coast metro areas, including Boston, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, are reporting more sales than they did a year ago.

In fact, many people in Philadelphia who are house shopping have found that the lowballing that worked in the past doesn’t get them nearly as far today; trying to negotiate with a low offer may result in people being shut out for higher offers that are already on the table. These high offers, in turn, have the potential to drive up all the home prices in the surrounding areas.

Other signs of life from the Philadelphia housing market, per the Philadelphia Business Journal, include the recently constructed Center City apartment building, which was constructed for $66 million and recently sold for $120 million, and the formation of a plan to help vacant lots and empty buildings sell faster.

Still, the housing market in Philly isn’t fully recovered. While it is better than a year ago, it’s not what economists consider normal. Per the Prudential Fox and Roach’s HomExpert Market Report, April 2013 sales for Philadelphia were 18.7 percent higher than levels in April 2012. The median prices, though up 2.5 percent from 2012, had not reached their full potential. This is particularly true since, according to ABC News, houses typically appreciate between 2 and 5 percent a year, averaging a 3.5 percent increase.

 What This Means for the Mover

For anyone moving to the Philadelphia area, the news regarding the housing market may work in their favor. As it stands now, the market still appears to at least somewhat favor the buyer. This isn’t to say that a buyer is guaranteed to get a steal of a deal, but until the housing market fully recovers, the odds are good that there will be some negotiating room and leeway on price. As time goes on this leeway may disappear and the market will turn into one that favors the seller.

Thus, anyone considering moving to Philly may want to do it soon: pack up the van, look into Philadelphia storage units, and purchase a home while the prices are still good.