Home prices are always a hot topic among prospective home buyers. The reasons for this are obvious. After all, the price of homes in the neighborhoods you're targeting will, in large part, determine whether or not you can afford to buy one. So what might happen to prices, and the overall market, in the year ahead? Well, a lot depends on how many homes are available for sale. The main factor pushing home prices higher these days is a lack of inventory. Naturally, if inventory improves – either because more homeowners list their homes for sale or more new homes are built – it will help balance the market and keep prices from spiking. With a healthier supply of homes, home sales will rise and there'll be less competition between buyers. That's the best case scenario for the 2022 market. On the other hand, if inventory doesn't improve and prices continue to climb higher, affordability conditions may begin to suppress buyer demand – which would also bring more balance to the market, albeit in a less positive way.