WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Home sales are in decline all across the country.

“Prices are very, very high,” Stan Shepherd of Southampton echoing a thought on every home buyer’s mind.

That is just one reason contributing to sales falling last month to the lowest annual pace since September of 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The reason the housing market has slowed this year is due to rising mortgage rates. This, on top of the spike in interest rates that make it more expensive to borrow the money needed to buy a home.

22News caught up with a shopper in West Springfield Sunday, who said he’s been on the housing hunt for months now. Homes that should be within his price range are spiking to asking prices well over their appraisal levels.

“Oh God… $30-$40,000 easy,” said Stan Shepherd. “I mean, you over-bid and you’re still getting knocked down, so it’s crazy.”

But, financial experts are optimistic that rates and prices will eventually fall. Dr. Wayne Durr, a Professor of Finance at Western New England University, offered some tips, especially to first-time homebuyers; do not lose hope on home ownership.

“For new couples, recent graduates; I still think it’s an opportunity to invest in it, but now you have to really shop for interest rates, and you’ve really got to shop for a good deal,” he explained.