Real estate trends in 2017

Thinking about buying or selling a home this year? Go ahead and learn about some real estate trends for 2017.

No matter what your real estate goals, it’s good to be informed in order to make the best deal.

Although predicting how the real estate market will behave is never an exact science, the experts said this year could be especially difficult to predict. Svenja Gudell, chief economist for Zillow, and Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for, talk about some real estate trends we can expect this year.

1. New buyers, millennials and boomers

As the oldest of the millennials push into their mid-30s, many will start to settle down and buy houses, Smoke and Gudell said.

A number of factors are contributing to this generation’s decision to start buying homes. More jobs are being created for 25- to 34-year-olds than any other age group, and wages are rising, Smoke said. Millennials are also reaching an age at which they’re thinking about marriage and children.

Baby boomers, the oldest of whom are entering their late 60s, are also looking to move as they reach their retirement years, Smoke said.

2. Home values will increase slowly than last year

Home values should increase about 3.6 percent this year, Gudell said. That’s a slight drop from 2016, when national home values rose about 4.8 percent.

As the market recovered from the housing crisis, «for a while, we were growing at very high home-value appreciation rates,» Gudell said. «What we’ll see for next year are more historically normal appreciation rates in line with what we’ve seen over the last 50 or so years.»

Gudell and Smoke said this slowdown in appreciation is an inevitable effect of the market’s recovery, and it signals that the nation’s housing market is normalizing.

3. Moving to suburbs for affordable housing

As home prices continue to rise, more buyers will move to the suburbs to find affordable housing, Gudell said.

«After the housing bust, people were able to move back to the cities because it was much cheaper than a few years ago,» she said. «Now, we see people would still like to live close to the city center where they’re close to amenities and in walkable neighborhoods, but for the first time they’re not able to find enough inventory that’s affordable for them to buy.»

As a result, many people have to look further out from cities to find homes in the right price range.

4. New construction will be even more expensive

New construction always comes at a premium, but that will be even more true in 2017, Gudell said.

A labor shortage in the construction industry is forcing builders to offer higher wages to compete for workers. Those costs, Gudell said, will be passed on to buyers.

In addition, President-elect Donald Trump’s promises to deport immigrants — who often find work in the construction industry — could exacerbate the existing labor shortage.

«It’s tough to give an exact point of impact [for Trump’s policies] because we have so few details about some of these plans,» Gudell said.

5. Millennials will flock to Midwestern cities

While many young people have traditionally headed for the coasts after college, an increasing number of millennials are choosing to settle down and buy homes in the Midwest, Smoke said.

Predictions from said that millennials will settle in Madison, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; Omaha, Nebraska; Des Moines, Iowa; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, Smoke said.

These markets are close to large universities, offer well-paying jobs and are generally more affordable for young homebuyers, he said.

6. West coast prices will continue to rise

Homebuyers may have the market on their side in the Midwest, but home prices on the already-expensive West Coast will continue to rise, Smoke said.

«It’s fundamentally where the most significant job growth has been since the end of the recession, led by California — particularly Northern California — and continuing into Portland, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix and Tucson. Most Western markets are outperforming the East,» Smoke said.

7. Cities will develop smaller homes near public transit

During 2016, Zillow held a number of Housing Roadmap events to meet with officials in cities across the country and learn about the challenges and housing visions unique to each city, Gudell said.

«The number one issue many mayors and cities face is affordability,» she said. «A lot of them are addressing this by building smaller homes — which take up less space so they can build more of them — and by developing public transit so people can move away from the city center and still have access to it.»

8.Rental affordability will improve

Experts predict renting will become more affordable next year.

Zillow predicts rental rates will rise only about 1.5 percent in 2017, Gudell said. This is due in part to an increased supply: A lot more multifamily rental units are being built, and many renters have doubled up with roommates. These two things have helped supply rise to meet rental demand.

9. Mortgage rates will increase

Following the housing market crash, mortgage rates remained at record lows for years. However, that’s finally starting to change, Smoke said.

Rates are climbing now and are expected to keep doing so next year, with the Federal Reserve indicating that three more increases to its benchmark rate are coming in 2017.

«As a buyer or seller, this essentially points to acting sooner rather than later if you’re intending to do a transaction next year,» he said. «Rates will get higher as we go through the year, and inventory is not going to improve. So winter or early spring will be more advantageous than waiting for late spring or early summer, when most buyers emerge.»

Pay attention to this last real estate trend, and think about buy your home early at 2017. My team will be happy to help you and find out the best deal for you!

Source: CBS News