Nightly News | December 31, 2013
>>> there is positive news to report about the economy. the housing market in this country has made impressive gains over the past year as interest rates remain relatively low, and that is helping both buyers and sellers as we hear from nbc's ron mott.
>> reporter: outside atlanta, justin and helen archer had been under water in their home for years and were finallile able to put it on the market this week.
>> now, finally, thankfully our heads are are poking above water.
>> reporter: twice in the past year they tried to sell it and really could use the room with twins.
>> we have two of everything.
>> reporter: now with an improved housing market well established across the country, more than 4 million homeowners like the archers are no longer upsidedown, owing more than their home is worth.
>> few will open up more transactions, both purchases as well as sales. people moving up, people moving down, and the greater mobility is a plus for the country.
>> reporter: new numbers show the american home prices surged over the previous year by the largest margin since february 2006 , up 14% overall.
>> we're starting to get back to normal, home prices are rising not to high levels, but back to the normal range .
>> reporter: and in the west, the housing bust is leading the way, las vegas , up 21%, san francisco , nearly 25%, atlanta, where the archers live, 19%, a relatively modest 8% in boston, there, this realtor is selling this house on the north shore , cautioning buyers to sell. with higher interest rates expected in the new year.
>> i think the price increase will be less than it was this year. but it will still go up. so people should get off the fence.
>> reporter: back in georgia, the archers are are hoping to find something before the prices get any bigger or the process any tougher.
>> wow, the kids will love it.
>> reporter: ron mott, nbc news, boston.