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Ann Arbor-area realtors sound warnings amid interest rate hikes

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Rising interest rates are not having the dramatic impact on home sales in Washtenaw County as the rest of the country right now. Nonetheless, local realtors are starting to sound the warning bells about house prices locally.

In the height of the pandemic housing market, local sellers were watching buyers overbid with multiple offers. So, when Washtenaw County realtors recommended a price on a new home, they would compare prices of homes that had sold within the past six months.

Now, with interest rates slowing down buyer enthusiasm, that has all changed, says Tracy Rose, president of the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors.

“Because houses, six months ago, was kind of fake news. Those were all the inflated prices. When I’m going in, I’m either looking within the last 30 days or maybe a year ago."

Local realtors, she says, are now engaging in “price improvement ideas,” encouraging sellers to lower their expectations or offer incentives to help buy down their interest rates to keep the buyers coming.

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Cathy Shafran is WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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