How Rising Mortgage Rates Are Affecting The Housing Market

How Rising Mortgage Rates Are Affecting The Housing Market

Taking some air out of the crazed market — and the hot economy in general — is precisely what the Federal Reserve wanted to do when it raised its key interest rate in March and signaled more increases to come. Mortgage rates have surged in response, jumping to 5 percent from slightly more than 3 percent since the start of the year.

That rise means the monthly payment on a $500,000 house like the one Mr. Solis just sold would be about $500 more a month than it was at the end of last year, assuming a fixed-rate mortgage and 20 percent down payment. And the higher cost comes on top of a more than 30 percent rise in home prices over the past two years, according to Zillow.

Now early data and interviews across the industry suggest that many buyers have finally been exhausted by declining affordability and cutthroat competition, causing the gravity-defying pandemic housing market to start easing up.

Open houses have thinned. Online searches for homes have dropped. Homebuilders, many of whom have accrued backlogs of eager buyers, say rising mortgage rates have forced them to go deeper into those waiting lists to sell each house. In a recent survey of builders, Zelman & Associates, a housing research firm, found that while builders were still seeing strong demand, cancellations had inched up, though still well below historically low levels. Builders have also grown increasingly concerned about rising mortgage rates and surging home prices.

“There is a lot more concern than there had been,” said Ivy Zelman, chief executive of Zelman & Associates.

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Source: New York Times

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