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Regional Spotlight—The Mid-Atlantic region is awash with real estate activity this spring, with real estate practitioners in the area expecting a busier season overall, according to a recently released survey.

“After a solid 2016, the Mid-Atlantic real estate market is poised for continued growth in 2017,” says Tom Phillips, president and CEO of Bright MLS, which conducted the survey. “Many of our Bright MLS real estate professionals, who are at the forefront of the housing market, are predicting a brisk pace for closed sales, especially as the spring buying season continues to heat up.”

Forty-four percent of those surveyed believe improving employment conditions will be beneficial to housing in the Mid-Atlantic this year. Further, roughly 17 percent of those surveyed believe more first-time homebuyers, in addition to more qualified buyers, will have a positive effect on the market.

“2017 may be the year that we start to see millennials enter the real estate market with strength,” says Jon Coile, chairman of the board for Bright MLS. “As more members of this generation are building careers that can financially support homeownership, they are also getting married, starting families, settling down and buying a home.”

The most decisive factors for first-time homebuyers in the Mid-Atlantic will be “affordability,” “updated kitchen and bath” and “move-in ready status,” according to the survey. In line with the rest of the country, saving for a down payment and student debt are concerns.

Rising interest rates are also an influencer—57 percent of those surveyed believe more hikes will spur homebuyers to act.

“[In March], the Federal Reserve announced another interest rate increase, just three months after raising the federal funds rate in December,” Coile says. “While rising rates are a positive sign for the general economy, they could make buying a home more expensive, motivating buyers to move quickly this spring before mortgage rates increase again.”


Source: Bright MLS

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