There is high demand for moderately priced houses that appeal to both first-time buyers and baby boomers

Last year proved to be good for the real estate market.  

It was very strong for home sales and even though mortgage rates increased after the election, they are still at historic lows.  So, what does 2017 have in store for the market?

This year should bring a normalized housing market, providing a healthy number of sales and price growth. There are a few things that could negatively affect the 2017 market.

Credit is still tight, although that might change with the new administration. There is limited inventory, and prices could rise and create an affordability issue.  

There is high demand for moderately priced houses that appeal to both first-time buyers and baby boomers, who want to have a right-sized house for aging in place.

This can be seen here in the Ahwatukee Foothills area with most homes under $250,000 selling same day, if they are move-in ready and priced properly.

When it comes to buying real estate, most people should still consider it a long-term hold with a great tax write-off, forced savings plan and long-term appreciation. Home appreciation has historically been a way to help build wealth.  

Timing of the housing market can be very stressful.  So, as long as you take a long-term view and approach to home buying, you should be buying now.  You cannot expect 20 percent growth annually, but you should be able to expect single-digit growth.  

If you consider current market forecasts, it’s wise for prospective home buyers to think about purchasing relatively soon because mortgage interest rates remain low and housing price are rising.  

First-time buyers should especially considering a purchase now because most are paying high rents and need the tax write-offs that come with owning a home.  

Rental affordability is one of the biggest factors driving first-timers into the market. With rates at historic lows, buyers may be able to find a home with a monthly mortgage payment that is less than or equal to rent.

If you are still on the sidelines of the housing market, today's mortgage rates make it a good time to finally enter. Rates are low, which has maintained home affordability despite rising prices.

Check your home buying-eligibility. There's no obligation to continue once you determine your qualification status.

-Reach Ahwatukee resident and Realtor Stacey Lykins of West USA at 602-616-9971, or

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