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Six Real Estate Trends to Watch for in 2016

realEstateIndustryTrends2016With the national unemployment rate holding steady at 5%national unemployment rate holding steady at 5% and stable job growth continuing in a number of industries, 2016 looks to be a promising year for economic and industry advancement.

For the real estate industry, the forecast is optimistic – especially for sellers, as home values continue to climb.

Here are six real estate trends to watch for in the New Year.

1. Demand for housing will continue to grow

2015 proved to be the housing market's most profitable year since the recession, and sales of existing homes are expected to grow moderately in 2016sales of existing homes are expected to grow moderately in 2016. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, "Sales activity in 2016 will once again be primarily driven by the ongoing release of more pent-up sellers finally realizing their equity gains and using it towards the down payment on their next home."

The market is primed for current homeowners who plan to transition from their "starter homes" to larger houses that will accommodate growing families. Additionally, prospective sellers who had been sitting on homes that had decreased in value during the recession may now be able to sell without losses.

The current inventory of available homes is low and the average cost of houses is on the rise. This can be an advantage for second-time buyers, but detrimental to first-time purchasers who face stiff competition while struggling to meet higher price tags.