LUBBOCK, Texas– Mortgage rates are at a 14-year high, which could delay first-time home buyers, the Lubbock Association of Realtors said on Tuesday.

“What has had an effect on [the housing] market is rising interest rates. In the spring, we were in the 3’s. Right now, we’re breaking into the 7’s. So, what that has done is make homes a lot less attractive to investors,” said LAR President Rich Eberhardt. “But what I would encourage folks is to get into the house, and then two to three years down the road when interest rates come back down, you can refinance.”

Last spring, Lubbock realtors saw 10-15 offers on homes within 48 hours or less.

“We’re not seeing that anymore. So, that’s good news for buyers. You have a much better chance at getting in something,” Eberhardt said.

However, the LAR has not seen home prices go down.

With around two months of inventory, LAR said 37 percent of that is new construction. The median price for those homes starting just below $250,000, which is a 13 percent increase since last August, the association shared, adding that the good news is: home values are appreciating.

In August, the average home lasted 33 days on the market and homes priced under $200,000 went in a week or two at most, partly because Lubbock is a growing community, the association explained.

“… And it’s evidenced in a place like Wolfforth. [Frenship ISD] just passed some school bond packages. Same thing is happening in Cooper ISD. We’ve got road growth and infrastructure that is going in all around the city, and it just adds to the desirability of Lubbock,” said Donna Sue Clements, President-Elect of the Lubbock Association of Realtors. “We truly are the Hub City, and people love our schools, love our community and love what we’ve got to offer here in Lubbock.”