The more we know, the better we can plan. That’s why I’m passionate about staying on top of real estate trends and sharing them with you. Here are our five real estate predictions for this year:

Real Estate Prediction 1
Home prices will continue to rise, increasing homeowner’s net worth. According to CoreLogic, home prices are poised to rise another 5.2% through September 2017, after a 6.3% increase over the past year. That has doubled the amount of home equity held by Americans, with the average homeowner gaining more than $11,000 in home equity wealth last year alone.

Real Estate Prediction 2
Mortgage Rates will go up. The Mortgage Bankers Association predicts rates will reach 4.8% (an increase of nearly two percentage points) by the end of 2017. If you’ve considered refinancing, sooner is better than later. Homebuyers should consider locking rates in early as well.

Real Estate Prediction 3
It will get easier to get a mortgage. According to Redfin’s Nela Richardson, “Starting in 2017, government-owned mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will begin backing larger mortgages for the first time in over a decade, making it easier for buyers in expensive markets to finance their purchases.” She also noted that mortgage credit will likely be more widely available because of slightly looser lending standards and that the Federal Housing Administration will likely lower the fees it charges first-time homebuyers.

Real Estate Prediction 4
Boomers and millennials will make their mark. According to Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke, “Millennials and baby boomers, the two largest American generations in history, are both approaching life stages that typically motivate people to buy a home: marriage, having children, retirement and becoming empty nesters.” He predicts that millennials will make up 33% of buyers in 2017.

Real Estate Prediction 5
Inventory will remain tight. One trend that will continue to be an issue is lack of home inventory. According to Smoke, home inventory is currently down an average of 11% year of year in the top 100 U.S. metropolitan markets. The median age of inventory , or the time it takes a home to sell, is currently 68 days in the top 100 metros, which is 14% – or 11 days – faster than the national average. “Prices are still likely to go up at an above-average pace as long as supply remains tight,” Smoke says. “The inventory problem is not going away.”

Our industry can change in the blink of an eye. As the Tulsa metro specialist, customers rely on me to stay current with trends and strategies so they know they have an advocate they can turn to with their questions. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and I’m happy to be the source people can trust.

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