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Old 05-05-2006, 09:18 PM
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Post Mortgage rates still rising, Housing Market Slows

With rising interest rates and more homes being put up for sale, questions are being raised about Omaha's housing market.

Mortgage rates have recently drifted up to a four-year high and Heide Parolek, for one, can't find a buyer for her home.

"Actually, it's been really, really slow," she says.

Heidi has not had a single potential buyer come to her open house.

She says, "Week after week, we work really hard to get our house to look perfect and it's really frustrating when no one shows up on Sunday."

There are a number of For Sale signs around Heidi's neighborhood.

In March, there were 5,200 homes for sale in the Omaha metro. The same time a year ago there were just 3,600. The number of homes actually sold during those months stayed approximately the same.

Heidi says, "The competition is really heavy."

As for home values, the law of supply and demand suggests this would mean a slowdown in appreciation but real estate agents say that's hard to gauge.

One Dundee home sold for $152,000 a year ago. This year, a home nearly equal in size, location and condition sold for $156,000.

And when it comes to developing, there's no sign of a slowdown.

Every lot in the Silverleaf Estates community has been sold even though it could be years before many of the upper-end homes will be ready for occupancy.

Across the nation, home sales have hit record highs for five years in a row. They were powered by low mortgage rates and with those rates rising, some experts say the streak could be in jeopardy this year.

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