Mini-cities in the suburbs, with walkable cores and an urban feel--the silver-lining to Zillow prognostications that 2016 will be "all about housing affordability."
Finally triggering the young adult marketplace remains a big challenge for sellers of properties--new and resale. Easing credit access and better household formation and evolution trends support demand, although inventories of new and existing supply are a constraint. So, Zillow's predicting effectively a drive-'til-you-qualify growth spurt for suburbs, given up for moribund only a few years ago. Zillow analyst Emily Heffter writes:
"In 2016, we'll start to see more people in hot coastal markets forced to move farther from the core of the city to find housing," said Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell. "When they get there, they'll be looking for amenity-rich suburbs — mini-cities, with walkable cores and an urban feel."
- Zillow's 2016 Housing Market Predictions The median age of first-time home buyers will set a new record in 2016. Buyers are already about three years older, on average, than they were in the 1980s.
- More low-income Americans will be priced out of homeownership. Home values are rising faster than incomes, so in 2016, the poorest Americans will be unable to afford even the least expensive homes.
- Rents will soar in 2016, bringing the highest median rents ever.
- People will move outside cities to find affordable homes, and that will change the suburbs. Hot spots for 2016 will be dense, walkable suburbs with urban amenities.
- More than 100 economic and housing experts in the latest Zillow Home Price Expectations Survey pinned home value growth at about 3.5 percent in 2016.