With each new year comes a new profile of home buyers. According to a survey published by Realtor.com, there are a handful of home buyer trends to look out for in 2017. These statistics will help real estate agents, buyers, and sellers know what to expect this year in the real estate market. Since real estate is constantly changing given these rapidly altering trends year to year surrounding home buyers, it is even more important now to be as informed as possible.

Here are the five home buyer trends to watch in 2017:

#1: First Time Home Buyers Will Dominate the Home Buyer Population

The most notable home buyer trend to watch this year is the high percentage of first time home buyers expected to enter the market. According to the survey, first time home buyers will make up more than 50 percent of buyers in 2017. This is a huge jump from last year where the market only saw about 33 percent of first time home buyers in 2016. Real estate experts predict fierce competition for affordable starter homes due to the influx of first time home buyers, so if you’re thinking of buying or selling your home this year, consult with the Keri Shull Team to make sure you’re as prepared as possible.

#2: More Millennials Will Become First Time Home Buyers

As the Keri Shull Team reported last year, more millennials are expected to enter the market this year than ever before. Realtor.com reports that 61 percent of these first time home buyers predicted to dominate the market in 2017 will be under the age of 35. Millennials are ready to purchase their first homes now either due to marriage or the desire to grow a family, and they’re expected to want more house than previous generations of first time home buyers. Many millennials that had been living with their parents were able to save enough money to pay off some of their student loans and build up good credit, and now they are ready to make a great investment by purchasing property.

#3: Homes in the Suburbs Will Be a Hot Commodity

If you live in the suburbs and have been thinking about selling your home, this is the year to sell! The survey reports that the majority of these young, first time home buyers will be looking for starter homes in the suburbs with big yards and more living space. About 50 percent of the survey respondents identified the suburbs as their first choice location to buy a home, which means competition is likely to heat up in these areas. Privacy and safety were also identified as important concerns for first time home buyers this year. According to the survey, millennial first time home buyers prefer single family homes (39 percent) or townhouses (34 percent) to condos.

#4: Mortgage Qualification & Affordability Are Biggest Barriers to Home Ownership

Last year the largest barrier between buyers becoming home owners was a lack of inventory. This year it’s switched to affordability issues and difficulties qualifying for a mortgage. Prospective first time home buyers that responded to the survey indicated that money would be the first and foremost issue regarding their quest to purchase property. Nearly 40 percent cited the down payment as the biggest concern, a close second to finding a home within budget (30 percent). If you are thinking of becoming a first time home buyer and are worried about your budget, schedule a meeting with the Keri Shull Team to discuss your options. We work with trusted lenders that can help make your home buying dream a reality.

#5: Spring & Summer Projected to Be Hottest Time to Buy a House

The survey also reports that most 2017 home buyers plan to complete the home buying process and purchase their new homes in the spring or summer months. These two seasons are notoriously popular for home buyers year to year, though it is important to remember that serious home buyers and sellers still buy and sell homes all year round. Since first time home buyers are projected to saturate the market this year, it may be worth it to consider a winter home purchase to avoid a bidding war if you’re concerned about higher prices and high competition. Talk to an experienced agent to formulate a home buying plan tailored to you.