In 2015, the average home seller was able to sell their house for $20,378 more than they paid for it, according to new numbers from RealtyTrac’s Year-End U.S. Home Sales Report. That represents an 11 percent increase and the largest average price gain since 2007. Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, says homeowners can once again count on real estate to be a good investment. “With some local market exceptions, the 2015 home sales data paints the picture of a properly functioning U.S. housing market where homeowners can once again count on real estate as an appreciating asset – a long-touted axiom soundly debunked as ironclad truth between 2008 and 2013,” Blomquist said. “This return to consistent home price gains for sellers should reinforce confidence in real estate in 2016 and produce another year of solid sales volume as homeowners cash out their equity gains.” But the news should be encouraging, not just to move-up buyers looking to capitalize on their home’s rising value, but to anyone considering buying a home in the near future. Because the improvement marks two consecutive years of steady price gains – following six where the average home seller saw losses – prospective buyers can feel more confident that their home purchase will be a sound financial decision. More here.