SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a challenging time for those looking to buy a home, as prices remain high and sales remain low.

Spiking interest rates and prices, make navigating the current housing market overwhelming,
but local realtors say not to lose hope. Recent data from the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley, paints a grim picture for home-owner hopefuls.

According to the report, which covers Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire counties- Sales of single-family homes are down 24.2 percent from April of last year. The median price is up, a home selling for $300,000 last year, now costs $306,000. Houses are remaining on the market longer, too; last year’s average was 34 days, and that’s now up to 49. 22News spoke with a local Real Estate broker, Brian Sears about what’s fueling the trend.

“We’re not seeing enough new inventory. That’s really the driver of this, is that we do not have enough inventory to meet the demand,” says Sears.

With the housing market the way it is right now, your best bet is to meet with a trusted, local realtor to see what your options are. Realtors can help connect with you with the right bank or credit union. Realtor for 1 Worcester Homes, Carrie McCorkindale says, “Get in touch with them and find out what kind of programs they’re offering. The Mass.gov app has programs for buyers, FHA programs, and almost all towns right now have down-payment assistance for buyers which would really help with the higher prices that there are right now.”

If you do buy a home right now, there is always the option to refinance in the future if rates drop.