Birmingham area estate agent says housing market is beginning to weaken

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – The housing market has been hot since the pandemic broke out, but now things may be cooling.

A realtor covering central Alabama says the market appears to be more mixed depending on where the home is located. While some homes see quick sales, others stay on the market much longer.

“It’s changing now, so that aspect is new,” said Aliece Dice, a broker at eXp Realty. “I would say it’s more towards a neutral market. Instead of being as much a sellers’ market as it was in 2019 and 2021, I now feel like it’s going to be more neutral.”

In recent years, houses could be sold the day they came on the market. While Dice sees a bit of it, it’s not that often. Now many houses remain on the market for several days or weeks.

“There’s evidence that the days in the market are getting a little longer, so we’re not seeing houses flying out the door in a day or two like we did a couple of years ago or even last year,” added her.

Dice believes the main reason for the slowdown is higher interest rates.

She says some buyers, particularly first-time homebuyers, may have tight budgets to stick to, so their purchasing power dwindles when interest rates rise.

Despite this, the rates are slightly lower compared to a month ago. According to Dice, late last week interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage were 5.8% and 5.5% on a 15-year.

“Historically, these interest rates have not defaulted,” Dice said. “We saw them higher than they are now.”

Regardless of the rate, Dice says home inventory remains low, which is why house prices remain high.

“So we’re seeing a little bit of 2020 when homes in certain areas will need multiple listings, and now we’re seeing a shift toward a neutral market in some other areas,” she said. “It’s just a weird mix that we’re seeing.”

Dice says depending on the area, curb appeal and asking price, a home could get multiple offers in a matter of days, but others could sit for a while.

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