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One reason we have had a great year in the housing market is the continued availability of low interest rates.  The chart above shows 30 year fixed interest rates starting in January of 1972.  When I entered the real estate industry in 1992 interest rates were in the 8% range.  Now it’s hard to believe that interest rates in the 3′s are available.  Source Freddie Mac.

On a related note.  Below is a chart from the Wall Street Journal showing a comparison of year-to-date appreciation through July in 2005 through the present.  Only 2005 had more appreciation than this year.  The data is based on the Case-Schiller Index and includes housing information in the 20 largest markets.