Main stream financial news is reporting large numbers of investors taking income gains this year to avoid the likely higher taxes next year. Stocks with high dividends are less popular because of the higher taxes dividends will be subject to.
Appreciation on real estate is not taxed until it is sold. Generally there are favorable tax programs even when it is sold. It is unlikely that lawmakers will do anything that would hurt the real estate market as a whole. Are the cards being stacked to make 2013 a strong year for home price increases?
In Palo Alto home prices increased dramatically early this year. There was early speculation that the Facebook IPO was affecting both buyers and sellers. With short days on market and strong sales price over list price, there are not any signs of weakness. The homes sales statistics point towards continuing strong prices.