The beginning of every new year brings optimism, a chance for a fresh start, and a flood of predictions from analysts and experts who believe they know what will unfold over the next 12 months. This is especially true for residential real estate and the housing market, where there is no shortage of expert opinions offering an outlook for the coming year. This year, most forecasts are predicting a good year ahead for the real estate market. The optimism is mostly based on renewed strength in the economy and job market and the belief that continued improvement will release pent up demand to buy homes. First-time home buyers are expected to make the biggest impact, as younger buyers have not been as active in the market over the past few years. According to a projection from realtor.com, Millennials are expected to account for two-thirds of household formations over the next five years. Another reason for optimism among housing analysts is the continued stabilization of home prices. After years of volatility, home prices are beginning to settle back into more stable growth patterns as investors retreat from the market. Combined with increasing rent and an improved economy, stability in the housing market should help boost consumer confidence and propel sales. More here.