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Safeguard Your Savings: How inflation affects buying a house in Northeast Wisconsin

Sold home in Green Bay
Posted at 6:10 PM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 19:10:46-05

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — If you're in the market for a home, you probably found out pretty quickly that you're definitely not alone.

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"Sometimes you feel like, what did I just get myself into?," said Alex Young. "I'm somebody who likes to analyze and look at the numbers and really plan things out. This is not the market for that. It requires a lot more instantaneous decision making."

With low rates, high demand and short supply, it seems like just about everyone is looking to buy. There simply aren't nearly enough homes, said Stacey Hennessey, Broker Associate with Century 21 Affiliated.

"When you look at 55 showings and one person is going to get this house, there's 54 more that are needing to battle for the next one," she said. “The last three years have really been busy, like, oh boy, how can it get any busier?”

The U.S. census found that 12.3 million American households formed from January 2012 to June 2021, but just seven million new single-family homes were built during that time. The U.S. is short 5.24 million homes, according to research from; that's one of the reasons why these homes are getting more expensive to buy. The median price for an American home is up nearly 20 percent in a year.

“If you're looking to buy right now, it may sound unbelievable," said Hennessey. "It's a fight.”

However, if you're looking for a home, inflation brings a big silver lining: the Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates in March and potentially a few more times in 2022. That means fewer people might be willing to take out a mortgage.

"It might push a few people out of the market," said Eric Johnson, Branch Manager for Inlanta Mortgage. "But it might bring a little bit more of a level market, a little bit more stability, which in the long run would be a good thing."

Ultimately, inflation could make buying a house a little less competitive. It'll still be a seller's market this year though, said Hennessey. If you're thinking about selling your house, now is the time.

"Unbelievable," she said. "I sit down and ask every single time, I ask people what they think their house is worth before I give them my little market analysis, and they're consistently $20,000-30,000 short of what they think their house is worth."

If you're looking to buy, investing in a home is probably worth it, said David Hartman, Branch Manager for Inlanta Mortgage.

"I think you're always better off if you look at the long run, owning versus renting," he said. "When you're renting, you're paying your landlord's mortgage, developing his wealth, not your own wealth."

More people than ever are going to try to make northeast Wisconsin their home in 2022, he said.