Buyer Assistance Programs

2016 Real Estate Predictions: What The Mainstream is Forecasting

In preparation for the New Year, major real estate media sources are putting out their formal 2016 real estate predictions. “We’ve been talking about what’s going to happen in the market since the Fed raised interest rates in their mid-December meetings,” said Gerard DiRuggiero, Principal Broker of UrbanLand Company. “We’re fairly micro-focused on interest rate movement as it directly affects monthly mortgage payments and overall home purchasing power, due to the questions we’ve been getting from our Free Buyer Workshop attendees all month.”

“The expert opinions are great, but can be hard to understand and relate to always for buyers new to the market,” said DiRuggiero. “Here’s several of our own simplified predictions before we get into what the economists forecast.”

  • Rates on 30 year mortgages have moved from 3.92% to 3.97% and back down to 3.96% on the Fed news and its aftermath.
  • Interest rate increases are going to be gradual and will most likely occur in several stages throughout 2016. Mortgage banker policy makers will move interest rates up in ‘chunks’ as they carefully watch the effects on new mortgages and refinanced mortgages.
  • Rental housing prices will keep shooting up in the DC/MD/VA area at a higher pace than home prices.

Here’s another point we need to reaffirm. Don’t panic. Yes, with rates going up your affordability and how much you can spend on a financed home or condo does drop. “Every 1% interest rate move drops the amount you can finance on a home by about 13%. Luckily, mortgage interest rates do not move in that kind of velocity all at once,” commented Gerard. “Some of our savvier and more prepared first time buyers who were holding off started to pull the trigger and have been issuing offers and contracts through our agents since the rate move. There’s a strong desire to make moves while affordability is still maximized.”

Want to buy a home or condo but you haven’t saved for a Down Payment? The DC Open Doors program and Maryland Mortgage Programs make it easy. “These programs either pay your down payment in full for you or they issue you an easily repayable additional down payment loan with great terms. DC Open Doors alone has issued over $100 million in DC home mortgages since 2013.”

Want to know more about what you can do for yourself as rates go up? Attend an UrbanLand Company free Home Buyer Workshop. We discuss $0 Down, other low downpayment programs, how to understand interest rates a whole lot more. Buyer Workshops are available Tuesday nights at 5:30pm and Saturday mornings at 10am, every week. RSVP by email to check availability.

Here’s the predictions from Freddie Mac, Zillow and


From Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti:

  • 30 year fixed rate mortgages will average below 4.5% for 2016.
  • Increasing mortgage interest rates present an affordability challenge for buyers, but expect further strengthening of jobs and pent-up demand to drive home sales momentum throughout 2016.
  • Expect housing prices to level off a bit to around 4.4% in 2016 – reductions in affordability and slightly reduced demand due to rising interest


zillow logo

From Chief Economist Svenja Gudell:

  • We’re going to see an uptick in the number of condos being sold, especially for first-time home buyers.  Location, cost and nearby amenities will be most important – condo buyers lives’ tend to ‘happen’ outside their walls.
  • The real estate market hasn’t reacted much yet to the rate increases. A lot of expectations regarding December’s rate increase were ‘built in.”
  • There will probably be 4 interest rate increases of 25 basis points each, with higher priced coastal areas like Seattle, San Francisco, New York and Miami taking a hit due to decreased affordabiliy.
  • Millennials are taking a bigger role in the market going forward. It won’t be a flood of buyers but it will be a steady trickle into the market


realtorcom logo

From’s Realtor magazine:

  • A ‘normal market’ is coming in 2016 with a healthy growth in home sales and pricing, but at a slower pace than 2015. “We’ve lived through 15 years of ‘abnormal trends’ and are finally starting to see signs of normal conditions and normal demand.
  • Younger adults will play a larger role in the market, with the majority of first time home buyers falling into the age 25 – 34 range. Other groups having a big presence are financially recovering GenXers and older baby boomers.
  • New Home construction will focus more on affordability and entry-level home buyers.
  • Rental costs are skyrocketing, and the costs are likely to only go up in the new year. More than 85 percent of the nation’s markets have rents that exceed 30 percent of the income of renting households.
Skip to toolbar
Tools Fast Help