BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A new report from the Alabama Association of Realtors shows interest rates are up and house sales are down.

They say we’re in a very unique housing market, seeing both consumer confidence and some adversity with the rising interest.

Chief Executive Officer for the Alabama Association of Realtors, Jeremy Walker, said year over year sales are down, but there’s still a lot of competition right now.

He said month over month sales were down about 20%, and that we’re definitely going through a short-term correction. Right now, Walker said interest rates are consistently in the 6% range.

Birmingham realtor Gusty Gulas said they’re hoping to get back into the 5% range soon. Gulas said if you get somewhere in the fives, it’s something to celebrate because that’s considered a great rate right now.

Walker said interest rates will continue to move around each week and month.

“We’re expecting another quarter 25% basis point rate hike from the fed next month and unfortunately that creates upward pressure on 30-year mortgages,” said Walker.

“You might be able to pay some points to get your interest rates a little lower,” said Gulas, President of the Gusty Gulas Group at EXP Realty. “You can also get adjustable rates so you can have like a low start and then it might adjust later on so it really depends on your situation, but it can fluctuate.”

For buyers, Gulas said inventory is low. Multiple offers are being made which means there is more competition between buyers.

He said sellers are still receiving offers even with current interest rates because of the low inventory. Gulas said the buyer’s sentiment is positive overall because it was this time last year when rates shot up.

“We’ve really kind of come into a new normal of where interest rates are, where right now we’re in the low sixes,” said Gulas. “We’re really trying to cheer for them to get into the fives. So, the buyers’ sentiment, I think people realize, like, it is where it is where the interest rates are right now.”

Walker said opportunities are there you just need to work with a qualified realtor to build a plan of action.

“Either on the market whether you’re on the buyer side or on the seller side, they can come in and do an evaluation of your property, because a lot of this fluctuates community to community, neighborhood to neighborhood, and the stats we provide are statewide and very broad,” said Walker.

With inventory and interest rates where they are at, Gulas said they’re looking for ways to provide good, affordable housing for our area moving forward.

“I think technology is going to come into play,” said Gulas. “There’s some things we are working on that might be able to bring some more affordable housing to the market in a more efficient manner.”

“Our long-term fundamentals are extremely strong. We still have a number of Americans moving to our state in search of economic opportunity and a greater quality of life, and Alabama Provides that.”

Walker and Gulas said they encourage buying even in this current market because they believe in the American dream and say, historically, investing in a home is a wealth building aspect.