• Homeowners should enjoy another year of solid gains in house prices. Prices have been moving steadily higher since the housing but hit bottom four years ago and should post another gain in the middle single digits. With a bit of luck, prices nationwide could reach close to the all-time peaks seen in the housing bubble a decade ago. This time, however, house prices are on very solid foundations; they are supported by homeowners’ incomes. In the bubble, too many of [people] got into homes [they] couldn’t afford by committing to mortgages that made no financial sense. Of course, millions defaulted on these loans, resulting in the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

  • No one is getting crazy mortgages today. Regulatory changes in the wake of the crisis and chastened (thus much more cautious) mortgage lenders make that all but impossible.

  • Short Sales are going bye, bye.  Sales in which the house is worth less than the mortgage due, is fast fading. At the worst of the problem, close to 17 million homeowners were underwater. By the end of 2016, that should be down to a more typical 5 million homeowners.

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  • Less Inventory: the historically low number of new and existing homes for sale makes it even more of a seller’s market.

  • Employment is improving

  • Predictable Rates: Fixed mortgage rates are unlikely to stay below 4 percent for much longer, but they don’t appear set to rise sharply either. Some new opportunities for easier credit/financing options.

  • For renters, 2016 will be a difficult year, as rents continue to rise strongly in most parts of the country.