(LEX 18) — After a whirlwind few years, the housing market is returning to a more healthy, stable place, according to Bluegrass Realtors, a real estate association that covers 30 counties in central and southern Kentucky.
They report that since June's interest rate hike, competition has slowed.
"The market as a whole has become a little bit less competitive with fewer buyers in the marketplace and that's just creating greater opportunity for different buyers," Bluegrass Realtors president, Rusty Underwood, said.
First-time home buyers like Savannah Dudek, who is also a realtor herself, have taken notice. She is feeling much more confident and optimistic about her home search now, compared to when she first started looking earlier this year.
"A listing would go on in the morning and then there would be twelve showings on it and they would have accepted an offer by 8 p.m. that night," Dudek said.
While inventory has crept up, according to Underwood, it is still low. Dudek is seeing that in real-time.
"There's definitely not a lot of inventory so when something comes on in the area I like and in my price range I definitely jump on it," she said.
The interest hike has also caused sales to go down. They've been down for five consecutive months year-over-year, Bluegrass Realtors reports.
However, the hike hasn't had the same effect on prices.
They report median home prices were at an all-time monthly high in October at $235,000. That's up 4 percent from last year.
"I like to kind of equate it to a train that's on the tracks," Underwood said. "That train is still moving forward, it's just not moving as quickly as before and ideally that's just going to allow for more people to get on board."
For those who are ready to get on board, Underwood recommends finding a realtor to go through your options, including creative lending strategies beyond the 30-year mortgage.