Rising mortgage rates impacting local housing market

Rising mortgage rates impacting local housing market

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – Mortgage interest rates now top seven percent for the first time since 2002 and we’ve learned that home sales are down in western Massachusetts an average of 11-percent.

“What we’re seeing is still a strong demand for homes by buyers, so that is good news for sellers. The tough news for buyers is the fact that interest rates are continuing to rise,” said Kevin Sears, owner and broker at Sears Real Estate.

Sears weighed in on the impact of rising mortgage rates, which are now up to seven percent for the first time since 2002.

“With interest rates nearly double what they were earlier in the year, it is definitely giving people pause because so much more of their paycheck is now going to their mortgage payment,” Sears explained.

Sears told Western Mass News that last year the average mortgage payment for a home in the Pioneer Valley was $1,300. Today, it is nearly $2,000. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, new mortgage applications fell for the fifth consecutive week this past week as the higher rates discourage many prospective buyers.

We checked in with the Realtor Association of Pioneer Valley and found locally, sales are down an average of 11 percent.

Sears’ advice for those looking to buy or sell is, “I would encourage anybody that is still looking to sell to contact your local relator because we need to take advantage of the market while it is still a seller’s market.”

Sears also told us available inventory is down about 25 percent, which means there are fewer homes on the market for those who are looking. A possible reason, he told us, is that some sellers may be nervous higher mortgage payments may scare away potential buyers.

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