Ever since the real estate bubble occurred, lending practices have been tight and builders have been hesitant to expand their businesses. Fortune says there are signs that show things will change in 2017.
1. Rising Rates
For the second time since 2006, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in 2016 and they are expected to do this three more times in 2017. This will cause mortgage rates to rise, possibly making it more difficult for homebuyers to afford the homes they want. This isn’t too troubling as mortgage rates are still predicted to be much lower than previous rates.
2. More Credit
Lending standards are expected to loosen slightly in 2017. Redfin Chief Economist Nela Richardson says that the Federal Housing Administration will most likely lower fees for first-time homebuyers. Additionally, government-owned mortgage companies will start backing larger mortgages for the first time in over a decade. This will allow buyers in expensive markets to finance their purchases.
3. Increase of New Homes
Compared to 2015, the average annual rate of new groundbreakings in 2016 increased by 5%. This is expected to continue in 2017 because more home builders will be encouraged by higher wages, looser credit, and increased demand for new homes.
4. Medium-sized Cites Will Continue to Grow
One of the most important contributions to the economic recovery is that top economic cities such as New York, Seattle, and San Francisco have seen property values increase as workers move to these places because of higher paying jobs. New construction is often unable to keep up with the demand for housing because of geographic constraints or government restrictions. This is causing younger people to live in medium-sized cities that still offer the same job opportunities as larger cities but also offer affordable housing. This will most likely continue in the new year.
5. Continued Demand From Foreign Buyers
Lately the U.S. has seen a huge increase of foreign buyers purchasing real estate, which has caused prices to be higher than what the average buyer can afford. This trend has just begun, mainly because buyers from China are looking for places to invest their wealth, as their country’s economy is slowing and making it difficult for people to earn decent returns on savings. This trend is not expected to slow down in 2017.