By Frank May, Real Estate Agent

The odds of rates decreasing seem better, especially since they’ve just experienced another hike. I had fervently hoped we would see stabilization from last month’s numbers. Sadly, those determining the rates aren’t too concerned about my wishes.

As of this writing, we’re seeing rates soar to 6.625% for FHA and 7.75% for conventional loans. In my two decades in real estate, this is the highest I’ve observed. High rates combined with steep property prices are making it challenging for potential buyers to secure homes they desire. Consequently, many are either postponing their purchases, seeking inventive ways to qualify for homes, or recalibrating their expectations to settle for more affordable properties.

I highlighted it in the past, but it’s worth reiterating: a dip in rates will likely propel prices. Anticipate a surge of sidelined buyers competing fiercely, driving property values upwards. For those who can venture into the market now, the advantage is yours. Fewer homes are receiving multiple offers, opening doors for negotiation, whether it’s getting sellers to cover closing costs or buying down your rate. This current landscape empowers buyers, as no seller wants to turn away a serious and financially capable prospect.

I often discuss statistics, and one I haven’t covered in the “Upper Westsider” is the absorption rate. This metric estimates how long our existing inventory of homes would last without any new listings. Notably, for the first time since last November, we’re seeing this rate rise.

Having declined monthly since November 2022, this slight uptick is worth monitoring closely. Presently, we’d exhaust our available homes in a little over two months, barring new listings. I pledge to keep you updated on any significant changes.

On another note, wire fraud might be familiar to some, but a word to the wise: always exercise caution when wiring funds. Avoid relying solely on emailed instructions. Ensure you validate them – not via the email’s provided number (it could be the scammer’s).

Sadly, numerous individuals have been swindled out of vast sums because of hackers impersonating lenders, real estate agents, or title companies, using deceptive emails that appear legitimate. Once that money is wired, recovering it becomes an uphill battle. I’m not advising against wire transfers – many of our clients use this method without issue. However, the onus is on you to be meticulous. A couple of extra verification calls can make all the difference.

Frank May grew up in the Valley, graduating from Northwest Christian School and Northern Arizona University. He is a real estate agent with RE/MAX Fine Properties and has been helping both buyers and sellers for over 20 years. He has been a Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) since 2003. Learn more at