• Rising rents will influence more tenants to consider buying this spring.
  • Student loans remain a major barrier that will limit mid-Atlantic buyers.
  • D.C. enters spring as a seller's market, while buyers have the advantage in Baltimore.

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More than half -- 57 percent -- of mid-Atlantic real estate professionals are optimistic that this year's spring home sales market will outdo last year.According to a Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS) survey of 750 professionals, the entrance of more first-time buyers is the primary reason for this optimism.Roughly 88 percent of those surveyed expect more activity from first-timers, with a number of these newbie buyers being millennials.Rising rents will encourage some of this demographic to buy this spring; however, 64 percent of respondents indicated that student loans are still a major barrier limiting buyers.According to MRIS, in order for some sellers to command top price in the mid-Atlantic, it's important they appeal to the needs of first-time ...