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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There was a 5.5 percent decrease in home sales last month in the Valley at the same time mortgage rates are on the rise.
Mortgage rates have risen around a half a percentage point since September; brokers say it’s the highest rate in the last four years.
The first increase happened in the weeks following the passage of the tax reform in December and most recently after the January employment report showed hourly wages increased almost 3 percent compared to the previous year.
Experts say people had gotten used to lower rates, but the increases just show that the economy is getting back to normal.
“It’s a competitive market so those interest rates are going up. There are two sides to it because it shows a stronger economy,” said Sue Flipovich, a real estate broker with Burgan Real Estate.
Buyers with limited funds may feel a pinch, so Flipovich says it’s important to lock in an interest rate.
“You lender can help you with that. They are projecting the rates to go up maybe two to three times this year so being able to lock it in when you find that home is really smart, and that way you are guaranteed that rate. You can also buy down your interest rates with points,” Flipovich said.
Buyers can also revise their purchase price.