Local homes sales drop as mortgage rates rise

Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - Mortgage rates are right around 7 percent for a 30-year fixed rate. Nationally, rates are at their highest since 2006 and they’ve nearly doubled since last year. So, what is this doing to the local housing market?

“If you’re on that cusp, you may be pulling back and thinking about it. Some people, even cash buyers, may be hesitating,” said Lance Evans, Jeff-Lewis Board of Realtors.

Data from the Jeff-Lewis Board of Realtors shows about an 8 percent drop in Jefferson County home sales in the first 9 months of 2022 when compared to last year. Realtors are noticing but not worried.

“I think people are nervous that interest rates are going to slow down the housing market. Interest rates being higher or not, people need a place to live. Eventually, they’ll buy a house anyway,” said Lorie O’Brien, realtor, Bridgeview Real Estate.

What the data doesn’t show is October home sales - a month where the average interest rate of the most popular U.S. home loan rose to its highest since 2006, hitting 7 percent.

Marsha Gibbons at TLC Real Estate is trying to sell a home and she says it’s been a slow month.

“You may go 3 or 4 accepted offers in a week for the office instead of 10, 12 that we had before,” she said.

Gibbons says the situation isn’t dire, but she’s watching for signs it may head that way. She hopes rates will stabilize and go down soon so more sales start to come back.

“We’re thankful to continue to work with buyers and sellers. Hopefully, it continues that way and we don’t come to a screeching halt,” she said.

As for when we could see October data from the local housing market, Evans says it’ll take a couple more weeks for it to come in.