Top Trends of the 2016 Housing Market, and What to Expect in 2017

As the year winds down, we checked in with some of our top real estate agents to see what buyers and sellers were looking for in 2016 and what’s to come for 2017.

2016 was a pivotal year for the housing market. We checked in with some of our top agents and brokers across the U.S. about what trends defined 2016, and what they believe the future holds.

In 2016, buyers knew what they wanted and didn’t settle for less.

Most of our agents agreed –in 2016, buyers were searching for homes with a wish list and would not settle for less.

“As prices in many areas have gone up across the city, buyers were more likely to make a must have list this year compared to previous years. Whereas previous year’s markets were all about getting an offer in and attractive, I found that buyers were less likely to want to compete against other offers, and would prefer to check off all items on their wish list.”

Tim Savoy, Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Washington D.C.

“This year, buyers did not want to do any additional work to a house. The buyers I worked with wanted move-in ready homes. They also want the newest technology installed, ranging from smart home technology to environmentally friendly green home technology.”

Anthony Colantuono, Realtor Associate, Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty, Brecksville, Ohio

In 2016, urban areas were the place to be.

“I saw more interest in urban living where one can live, work, and play in the same area.  Buyers were willing to pay a little bit more for that convenience.  As a result, in our local market we have seen a transformation in our small historic downtown with buildings being restored and trendy restaurants popping up.  It makes it more attractive for people who want that lifestyle.”

Angel Piontek, Realtor Associate, Coldwell Banker Elite, Fredericksburg, Virginia

“Many of my first time home buyers moving from the city to the suburbs to purchase their first homes were all asking to buy something near a train station so they could be close to the city. They also wanted to be within walking distance to a downtown area near restaurants and shopping.”

Danielle Moy, Broker Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Orland Park, Illinois

“Buyers wanted more retail and restaurant options near communities – especially in newer neighborhoods that were carved out in areas where there wasn’t much to begin with.  Residents craved having shopping and dining amenities around them, no matter what area of town they lived in – even in suburban areas as these larger planned communities continue to be built and take shape.”

Cara Ameer, Broker Associate, Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

So what do our agents see will be the next hot trends in real estate in 2017? It seems like technology will continue to grow in popularity – both with Coldwell Banker agents and with home buyers and sellers.

In 2017, you’ll be able to tour a home virtually.

“I think we will also see more creative uses of video in real estate, specifically with Facebook Live and virtual reality technology.  Agents may use these tools to show homes in 2017. Just as with smart home technology, it’s something with origins in luxury home listings that is making its way into the mainstream very quickly.  As VR and live video progresses and we see more competition in that space, we will see the cost decrease and that make it more attractive for agents and real estate offices to invest in.”

Angel Piontek, Realtor Associate, Coldwell Banker Elite, Fredericksburg, Virginia

“I think in 2017 many buyers are going to be buying after only viewing a handful of properties because of all the virtual tours available to them. Buyers are doing all their initial searching online first. Seeing a home through virtual reality or video allows buyers to narrow down their favorites quickly.”

Danielle Moy, Broker Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Orland Park, Illinois

You may not have to wait until 2017 – one agent, Anthony Colantuono, is already doing this.

“Doing a VR tour allows for dozens of people to tour the home without ever stepping inside. Not only is this easy for homeowners and agents who won’t have to shuffle across town to multiple tours, it’s easy for the seller who can stay put and continue with their daily routine until closing day.”

Anthony Colantuono, Realtor Associate, Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty, Brecksville, Ohio

In 2017, smart home will continue to reign.

“I expect my clients will lean toward minimalism and efficiency, which goes hand-in-hand with smart home technology. The real estate market has been actively embracing connectivity at home, and buyers and sellers are looking for an inter-connected, streamlined home technology experience.”

 –Benjamin Beaver, Sales Associate, Coldwell Banker Legacy, San Angelo, Texas

“In 2017, I see a huge adoption in smart home technology.  Retailers are starting to put it at the forefront.  It’s moving away from the early adopter phase to becoming mainstream.  We have a long way to go but it is full steam ahead.  I believe agents will see more smart products in homes they list – especially after this holiday season.”
Angel Piontek, Realtor Associate, Coldwell Banker Elite, Fredericksburg, Virginia.

Let’s see if our agent predictions pan out – if they do, it looks like we’re in store for a very tech-savvy and futuristic real estate experience in the near future!



Senior Manager, Public Relations & Giving for Coldwell Banker. Grew up in Sarasota and attended college at Western Carolina University. Athena wanted to wake up in that city that doesn’t sleep so headed to Madison Avenue to start her marketing career. She has been with this awesome brand for more than 15 years and can be found generating buzz about CB in every way possible. Athena helps to grow the brand’s position as the most storied real estate company within the industry and has led many high-profile endeavors; she was at the forefront of the brand’s pioneering smart home campaign, raised $6 million in two years to build 130 Habitat for Humanity homes, and led the Homes for Dogs program in partnership with that resulted in tens-of-thousands of dogs finding their furever home. She currently leads the CB Supports St. Jude program, which encourages the Coldwell Banker network’s 96,000+ real estate agents to make donations to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for every real estate transaction they represent. In her spare time, you can find her either digging up a new area in her yard for another flower bed or planning her next travel adventure. She's the proud mom of three cats Jolene, Ziggy and Lucy.

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