Nationwide home prices are on the rise, posting the largest % gain in over two years. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, the third quarter 3.6% increase year over year is the biggest jump in house prices since early 2010. In addition, home prices have increased for six consecutive months. The Wall Street Journal credits several factors for continued price increases, including an increase in rents, a decrease in foreclosures and distressed sales, and the lowest housing inventory in nearly 50 years.

Meanwhile, mortgage rates continue to fall, reaching new record lows last week for the second consecutive week as reported by Freddie Mac. 30 year fixed rates averaged a new low of 3.31%, down from 3.98% a year ago.