Housing market favors sellers before typically busy spring

Wausau realtors anticipate 2022 to look similarly to 2021 regardless of potential interest rate rises
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 9:56 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The housing market has largely been considered favorable for sellers for the last several years, with the demand for houses and low-interest rates creating opportunity. As the calendar flips to 2022, realtors are once again seeing a strong market for those looking to sell their homes.

Austin Solomon, a team leader and realtor with the Solomon Group and Coldwell Banker Action in Wausau, says the current mood of the housing market is quiet. But a busy spring is likely right around the corner.

“It’s already starting to gear up to that spring market to be more of a seller’s market,” said Solomon.

According to Solomon and his colleague Cody Hoelscher, a fellow realtor, there are currently only about 70 homes on the market in Wausau. This creates a good situation for those selling the homes.

“Right now, there’s not a lot of competition,” said Solomon. “Even a house that’s so-so or nice, it’s going to draw some attention, because there aren’t many homes out there. It’s a good time to put your house on the market.”

As for buyers right now, they are at the mercy of having fewer options.

“If you’re looking for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in the Wausau area and your budget is $150,000 there may only be one, two, maybe three at max properties that don’t have accepted offer on them right now,” said Hoelscher.

Solomon and Hoelscher expect more homes to be on the market as spring approaches. Into summer, Solomon said there could be anywhere from 200-300 homes available in the greater Wausau area.

“The market’s going to do what it’s going to do,” said Solomon. “It comes down to how many buyers there are and how many sellers are out there.”

One other thing to note heading into this year is the potential for interest rates to rise. UW-Stevens Point Chief Analyst in economics and economic insight Kevin Bahr expects the interest rates to rise this year.

“Interest rates, you can expect, will more than likely go up this year,” said Bahr. “The expectation is that interest rates will get bumped as much as four times by the federal reserve.”

According to Bahr, rates are currently at “an abnormally low level.” Even if rates do rise, Hoelscher doesn’t anticipate that impacting the market much as the demand for homes continues to be high.

“If interest rates do change, I personally do not foresee a whole lot of a change to the housing market,” said Hoelscher. “You may see a slight, slight correction if anything, but I don’t anticipate anything large.”

In Wausau specifically, there’s been a lot of people relocating from different parts of the country. As those relocations continue, the rate for buying houses will continue to be high.

“Most people that are coming from California, Florida, Oregon, Washington, and others. They are paying triple or quadruple in those places than they do hear in Wausau for a two-bedroom home,” said Hoelscher. “For them, the Wausau area is really affordable and an attractive option.”

As it remains calm for the time being, the expectation is this should be another strong year across the board for real estate in the Wausau area.

“I guess I foresee it being a good year for real estate,” said Solomon. “I think that home values will continue to go up slightly and be similar to last year.”

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