Predictions For The New Year

As we start a new year, there is no shortage of predictions with regard to the real estate markets. Here is where the experts have weighed in:

Realtor.com®: Home sales are poised to zoom to the highest levels since 2006 next year, according to a 2016 housing forecast issued by realtor.com®. Gains in new-home construction and existing home sales are both expected to push total home sales to the highest levels in years. The new-home construction market is expected to see the most gains in 2016, with realtor.com® forecasting a 12 percent year-over-year increase in housing starts and a 16 percent year-over-year growth in new home sales.

Fannie Mae: “We see consumer spending as the biggest driver of growth moving into 2016,” said Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan. “An uptick in average hourly earnings and low unemployment numbers are contributing to a positive outlook for consumer spending. The supply of existing homes remains lean, putting significant upward pressure on home prices. Meanwhile, we expect interest rates to rise only gradually through next year, and an improving income trend should help support affordability.”

Redfin: Housing projections for next year include slowing price increases and sales growth, easier credit, more first time homebuyers and continued inventory shortages. Redfin sees home prices increasing in the 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent range next year.

It looks like the consensus is for moderate real estate growth and moderate interest rate increases, with new home construction and first time buyers leading the way.