Central Texas realtor alarmed as mortgage rates rise to levels not seen since early 2000s

WACO, TX (KWTX) – Home mortgage rates across the country are hitting record highs this week AND real estate agents say it’s scary that 30-year mortgage rates are now above seven percent.

Reports show rates last week fell from 6.94% to 7.08%, a rate not seen since 2002.

“It’s scary, especially for homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, because they’ve gotten so used to these low 2-3% interest rates over the last five years.” , said local real estate agent Dawn Chadwell.

Chadwell said that in a stable market, rates typically fluctuate half a percentage point to one point. “It surprises me a bit that it has grown so fast, because a four point increase in interest in less than a year is pretty scary.”

Chadwell said the Federal Reserve raised rates to control inflation.

“The Federal Reserve is trying to slow the market down, kind of stop people from spending so much money so they stop this inflation. So what they’re doing is raising interest rates and make it a little harder for us normal people to use our credit cards, to buy a house, to slow down those purchases. Because when we have all that money in the market, it just increases the inflation rate,” Chadwell said.

Mario Gonzalez, a realtor with Coldwell Bankers Apex Realtors of Waco, said buyers used to be beaten buying homes because rates were low, now it’s the opposite.

“Now fast forward a year later, even six months later, at this point rates have more than doubled. Their payments went up three, four, five hundred dollars. It really affects their debt ratios, because of that it even affects their ability to buy,” Gonzalez said.

Chadwell advises people to use a real estate agent who has been in the business for more than a few years.

“There are a lot of real estate agents who entered the market when rates were last year, in the last year and a half. So they don’t know exactly what’s going on, which can be very expensive for a homebuyer,” Chadwell said.

Chadwell thinks there’s still time to buy a house.

She said the priority should be to have a lower interest rate even if house prices are a bit higher.

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