LUBBOCK, Texas – This summer, many potential home buyers have been shut out of the housing market after being faced with soaring mortgage rates, high prices and fewer properties for sale.
“What we want is a balance in our economy, and, unfortunately, one of the ways to do that is by bringing those interest rates up,” said Donna Sue Clements, president of the Lubbock Association of Realtors. “It’s all about balancing the equation with inflation and demand, and when you make things cost more, it brings that demand down.”
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the benchmark 30-year home loan hit 7.23%, the highest level since 2001. In Lubbock, we’re seeing that average as high as 7.6%.
The Lubbock Association of Realtors’ July 2023 market report shows that homes are spending 80% more time on the market compared to the same time last year.
“This is typically a low seasonal period for home sales,” Clements said. “We tend to run very much with the school schedule with the universities and colleges in the area, and also the school divisions. As we see the home purchases going down, you also have to remember that some of that is interest-related, but it’s also related to seasonality.”
Regardless of the slump, Clements said homes in the Hub City are still being bought and sold every day.
“While it may seem different from what we’ve had over the past two years where we had multiple offers and so many people that were missing out on homes, we’ve got more of a balanced market now, which is good for both buyers and sellers,” Clements said. “With a growing economy here in Lubbock, we tend to not have the large swings that a big metropolitan area would have.”
Clements and other realtors said not to let the high rates deter you from buying.
“This is a great time to find that dream home and then down the road, you can always refinance and get that rate down where it will be a little more comfortable for you,” Clements said.