• The suburbs are becoming more urban as many suburban hubs make great strides to cater to younger generations.
  • Access to parking is no longer a deal-breaker for buyers as many are turning to alternate methods of transportation.
  • Many of the hottest markets are located in the South.

Believe it or not, 2016 is almost upon us. With the holidays and many people thinking about New Year’s resolutions, homeownership is on the minds of many. That, coupled with the economy on the upswing in 2015, means real estate should take a huge positive turn.

As a real estate professional, it’s important to predict future trends. In fact, to be successful at your trade, make this part of your job. In case you need some help with clairvoyance, we’ve compiled some of the forecasted trends for 2016:

1. Suburbs are getting more urban

Many real estate agents will tell you that suburbs are a thing of the past. Although that might have been true even in the early 2010s, suburban life has come a long way over the years, and many suburban hubs are making great strides to cater to younger generations.

Walkable downtowns and easy access to commuter trains are just some of the extras that millennials are expecting. And suburbs are taking notice, especially in larger cities.

2. Parking is slowly becoming a nonfactor

It used to be that real estate professionals would have to cater their listings around ample access to parking. These days, that is simply not the case.

More and more homebuyers are leaving cars behind and opting for public transit, ride-sharing apps and cycling. This opens the door for many more options.

3. Southern hospitality reigns in 2016

According to the National Association of Realtors, many of the hottest markets to look out for in 2016 are in the South. Although Providence, Rhode Island, is getting the most attention as of late, other Southern gems such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Charlotte and Memphis are seeing a huge resurgence.

4. Expect brokers to potentially join your agency

Many real estate agents already know that mortgage rates are low and are expected to remain that way heading into 2016.

When you couple this with a sharp economic uptick and more young homebuyers funneling their way into cities, it’s no surprise that many real estate firms are beginning to add brokers to their staff to further increase competitive rates.

5. Humanism trumps tech

It’s true that we are more attached to our smartphones than ever before, and it makes sense. Apps and mobile connectivity are incredibly convenient and commercially effective.

Cloud computing, big data and mobile access have definitely etched their footprint into the real estate sector, and will likely continue to do so.

However, when it comes to something as personal and life-changing as purchasing a home, people crave human connections and professional experience.

After all, homeownership is perhaps the most important purchase one will make, and many people aren’t willing to rest that decision on technology alone. So, sleep well at night — your job security as a real estate professional will likely thrive into 2016 and beyond.

Forecasting future trends in real estate is one of many things you should do as an agent or broker. Take these trends into consideration during the holidays so that you can ring in 2016 successfully.

Tim Swindle is the director of strategy at PointDrive. You can follow him on Twitter @timswindle or LinkedIn.

Email Tim Swindle.

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