2018 will be a strong year for the housing market, especially for new home construction. Several factors are already coming together, including positive unemployment trends and more millennials looking to buy their first homes. Also rising mortgage interest rates will contribute to the upcoming housing boom – although it may seem counter-intuitive, the extremely low interest rates we have seen since the housing crisis of 2008 have done very little to boost the housing market, as banks offering those low rates tend to offer them to only those buyers with the very best credit, making new mortgages more difficult to get. Higher rates mean a larger payment, but the mortgages will be at least a little easier to qualify for.
Realtor.com’s 2018 housing forecast predicts a seven percent increase in new home sales in 2018, but notes that existing home sales will grow by only 2.5 percent. The difference in the two figures can be explained by the long-standing inventory shortage, although as new construction continues the shortage will be somewhat alleviated.
“For those buying their first homes, this is good news,” said Brian Toolan, chief executive of The Plan Collection, an online resource for house plans and home design ideas. “New housing stock will be more readily available in the coming years, and although prices will rise modestly, in most cities a new home will still be affordable to first-time buyers.”
Those first-time buyers however, often overlook the many different costs involved in building a new home. “It all starts with a house plan,” says Toolan. “A custom-designed plan can run thousands of dollars, although significant savings can be achieved by drawing from a database of existing plans from leading architects.” To make the process even easier, The Plan Collection has also launched a Free House Plan Giveaway Contest to give new home buyers a great start in building the home of their dreams. The grand prize is a free house plan of up to a $2,000 value, and all participants receive a $25 coupon to go towards purchase of any house plan package.
The contest runs through Sunday, February 11 and is open to all participants 18 and over. For specific instructions and to enter the giveaway, visit the contest webpage here.