Will the real estate market boom in 2017 or will there be a recession? Will more Americans make a beeline for their mortgage brokers or will they run away from homeownership in droves? We surveyed the predictions to see if we could figure out where the market is headed. Depending on which experts you ask and which side of the market you find yourself on, you might have cause for concern or reasons for optimism.
The Pessimistic View: A Seller’s Nightmare
If you’re a seller or investor, rising real estate prices are great news. Perhaps that’s why industry insiders have rejoiced over the past few years, which have seen home prices soar. Those same people, however, may not be smiling in the coming year.
A Cautious Forecast – Indeed, some market analysts are worried. While the price of an average home increased substantially between 2015 and 2016, that upward trend may not survive the coming year, say industry watchers. According to one survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in conjunction with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), confidence is down among real estate professionals. Six months ago, 84 percent expressed hope for the future; now that number stands at only 69 percent.
Even more telling: Over 50 percent fear that recession will hit the overall market by late 2017, and some are worried that real estate will once again be a major force in that decline. That’s because income doesn’t seem to be growing as fast as housing prices, and that is putting downward pressure on the market. Some analysts even predict that the current price increase of 3.7 will slow to 1.7 percent in 2017, and to a mere 0.8 percent in 2019. If the predictions are true, then current homeowners may see their best hope of selling big disappear before their eyes.
The Optimistic View: A Buyer’s Dream
What is bad news for sellers is, of course, wonderful news for buyers. For years high prices have deterred people, particularly young people and first-time buyers, from purchasing that new home. Those days may soon be over, and that will make securing a loan from a mortgage company easier than it has been in years. Younger Americans, in particular, may find themselves in a better position to get pre-approval for a first-time home.
The benefits aren’t limited to buyers, though; investors and real estate professionals may also enjoy some of the advantages of a price decrease for at least two reasons.
A Market Expansion – First, the overall housing market should expand, with new units going up and new homeowners coming out of the woodwork. A greater number of new developments, particularly new single-family housing units, may mean an increase the long-term average growth rate, according to a report conducted by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate. That might be good for everyone.
A Bubble Vaccine – The second flip side to all the fretting is the long-term effect of cautious investing. Since tempered expectations have a tendency to curb any giddiness, the risk of inflated prices is significantly lower. Without inflated prices, there can be no bubble, and, without a bubble, there can be no recession-causing bursts in the housing market.
Ironically, the very fears that are creating downward pressure on the market may prove to be a boon in the long run. Add to that the influx of foreign investment money that has accompanied current global instability, and there may be reason for everyone to celebrate.
Planning for the Future
Of course, markets are notoriously hard to predict, and everything could change between now and January, let alone now and this time next year. That being said, it’s always good to keep an ear to the ground and understand what the experts are saying.
If they’re right, you’ll want to be in a position to take advantage of lower prices. That means starting to search for the right home early enough so you can jump when the time is right. In the meantime, visit A and N Mortgage today to start learning about the mortgage process or to fill out an online mortgage application.