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Interest rate hike could help Northeast Wisconsin housing market

House for sale sign
Posted at 5:48 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 23:28:28-04

NEENAH (NBC 26) — As the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates to get inflation under control, buyers are slowing down. However, realtors are saying, maybe they shouldn’t.

“We look for comfort, we look for security, and increasing rates is not a way that’s going to happen,” said Scott Roh, a 25-year First Weber Incorporated realtor.

Even with the uncertainty of inflation, local realtors are saying it could be the time to buy—even though you might not be able to afford as much as you have in the past.

“Offers are coming in over list price right now,” said Judd Stevenson, owner of Stevenson Appraisal and former president of the Realtors Association at Northeast Wisconsin.

A house with an asking price of $100,000, is going for $106,000. According to realtors, that’s because there is a lack of inventory.

“People are just trying to… the economy is a little bit scary for them, the inflation is a little bit scary to them, so they’re just saying I’m going to wait this is out and hang on to my house for right now,” said Stevenson.

Another possible effect of the lack of inventory:

“We’re down 10% in terms of total units sold in the city of Neenah in the last 12 months,” said Stevenson.

Yet, right now, the offers are coming in over the asking price.

“We’ve got fewer buyers than last year, but sellers are still able to sell successfully and happily,” said Roh.

Although realtors might not call it a sellers' market, rates are working their favor.

In 2008, property values were increasing by 6 to 12% in Neenah.

Now, “we’re seeing 18% appreciation rates… is that sustainable?” asked Stevenson.

The housing market in Northeast Wisconsin tends to slow down in the colder months.

“We’re not going to know for a while yet what the impact is because there’s just not enough statistically relevant data as to what’s happening when fewer occurrences are going to happen in the next 90 days,” said Roh.

Although it might not seem that way, experts say the recent hike in rates could work in buyer's favor.

“If they’re ready to buy, I say find out what your price point is and then go into the market and see what’s out there at your price point and if it fits your price point, yes, go out and buy because life goes on whether interest rates are going to go up or down,” said Stevenson.