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Housing market to remain competitive, but experts say rising mortgage rates may slow sales slightly

Posted at 5:22 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 07:51:09-05

If you're one of those house-hunters who lost a bidding war last year, a lot of experts are predicting the market will be competitive but not as crazy in 2022.

Even so, not enough inventory continues to be a challenge in the housing market.

"We put in four offers before we got our current house that we're in the process of buying," said Zoe Zamora, who is in the process of buying a new home.

After about a two-month search, Zamora ended up with an accepted offer on a West Allis home by sweetening the deal for the seller. Her Realtor, Courtney Stefaniak, says it's all about standing out.

"They put in a high offer price and if they were going to accept it quicker, they would increase that price even more," said Stefaniak with The Stefaniak Group.

"People are coming up with a lot of creative things in this market," she said.

Stefaniak explains it's a way to get the seller to respond faster when there's likely a lot of offers on the table.

"The buyer side has been strong all the way going back to before the pandemic," said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Ruzicka points out increasing mortgage rates may slow the market down slightly. The Federal National Mortgage Association or Fannie Mae echoes the same sentiment, releasing predictions that single-family home sales will drop 2.4 percent this year.

Ruzicka says what we saw in 2021, like intense bidding wars and buyers waiving all contingencies to buy a home, may not be as common.

"That was really the 2021 market where it was absolutely red hot. It's going to be a good year for 2022. It's just not going to be as crazy as it was in 2021, which is really a good thing," he added.

Zamora says she did waive her home inspection contingency but still scheduled one for peace of mind before closing. She also feels comfortable with her accepted offer.

"We were looking for homes that weren't really at the top of what we wanted to spend, but within a good range," she said.

Stefaniak recommends house-hunters have their financing in order and be prepared to act quickly when a new listing hits the market.

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