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Study predict Wilmington housing price rise, local expert says not so fast

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- As the real estate market across the nation continues to falter, Wilmington's prices might be an exception. A national study by Fiserv, a financial analysis company, indicates the Wilmington area will see a small price increase in the next two years.

That study predicts a triple dip in national home prices, but not in Wilmington. Instead the study says area home prices will increase about two percent in the next couple of years.

Realtor Ashley Garner says although he has not seen an increase in prices yet, he does see potential for the market. He says some of the reasons are where we are on the coast, our climate, the broad selection of homes and low prices and interest rates.

Garner hinted, though, that the increase is not right around the corner.

"If you're in the process of selling your house, I don't think it would be prudent to sit back and wait for a spike in prices, because I think we have a ways to go yet," Garner said. "When the turnaround does happen, I personally think we are at the bottom, but it's going to be a slow climb. So nothing drastic like we had before."

He also says he has seen a 50-percent increase in the number of higher-end homes sold in New Hanover County in the last year. That is generally an indicator of how the rest of the market will go.

All of this may mean it is a great time for home buyers to dive in before prices and interest rates rise in Wilmington.

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