It’s normal to feel a little bit of stress when buying a house. Whether it’s financial worry or just the logistics of moving all of your belongings to a new home, there’s a lot to think about and plan for. This is especially true for first-time home buyers. That’s because first timers have never navigated their way through the home buying process before and may be feeling some added fear, confusion, and concern about handling the responsibilities of homeownership. So what should younger buyers be watching for if they’re planning on buying a home soon? Well, according to Fannie Mae’s chief economist, Doug Duncan, mortgage rates and inventory will be key to determining whether or not there are enough affordable, entry-level homes available for new buyers next year. “Demand from first-time buyers has increased with household formation and is outpacing supply, leading to significant price increases and affordability challenges for entry-level buyers,” Duncan said in Fannie Mae’s most recent Economic & Housing Outlook. “Home purchase affordability will be constrained further if the recent pickup in mortgage rates persists, which would present a downside risk to our forecast of housing and mortgage activity.” In other words, if mortgage rates continue rising and inventory remains low, first-time buyers should expect higher prices and more competition in the year ahead. More here.