Buyers looking to negotiate the home buying market this year can expect stiff competition in what many experts are predicting will be a “seller's market”.
“The 2016 housing market is forecasted to be mainly a seller’s market, filled with increasing home prices, relatively low inventory and fierce competition between buyers,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com.
As such, Smoke reckons that buyers will need to be ready to move rapidly in this year's market should they find a home that meets their needs. He also says they'll need to keep an open mind, and provides the following tips for buyers over the next year, courtesy of realtor.com:
Shop for a mortgage
Rather than take the first quote they receive, buyers should shop around by talking to several lenders. Realtor.com advises that buyers could make potential savings of “thousands” over the loan's lifetime. It's likely that interest rates will hit 4.65 percent by the end of the year, so buyers should also act quickly to secure their mortgage.
Consider a new home
With an expected surge in new home construction likely this year, new home sales will increase by 16 percent year-over-year according to realtor.com. As such, the new home market is one where buyers will face less competition and a much wider choice. The only downside of course is that newer homes tend to cost more.
Look to the Midwest and the South
Those who have the luxury of choosing the area they want to live in should look to the Midwest and the south, which will likely have the most affordable homes in 2016.
Buyers must be ready to pounce the moment they find a home that suits their needs and tastes. Interestingly, some 85 percent of those who plan to buy in 2016 say they'll wait until spring or summer. As such, those who begin their home hunt early will face less competition as home inventory levels aren't likely to change much in the year.