News & Media
House floating in the sky and held up by balloons
mikkelwilliam, E+, Getty Images

Reassess Buyer Expectations Due to Interest Rates?

26% of people may be less likely to buy a home this year because of rising interest rates, says a survey forecasting the outlook for homeowners in 2022.

CHICAGO – The housing market has had a lot to contend with recently: The COVID-19 pandemic. Property tax increases. Inflation. Rising costs of construction material. A shortage of housing inventory.

And then there are other factors from affordability to soaring prices in rentals.

The latest addition to the list: creeping interest rates that are impacting mortgages.

There was hope of relief in 2022 for prospective homebuyers. But a survey forecasting the outlook for homeowners in 2022 reveals 26% of people would be less likely to buy a home this year because of rising interest rates. The average interest rate jumped by more than half a percentage point since March 10, per Freddie Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey. And the average rose above 4% on March 17 for the first time since 2019.

The result, according to local and national realtors: People with a strong motivation to move (relocating, schools, growing or shrinking family, change in marital status) will do so regardless of interest rates, but some buyers are moving faster to buy having learned how quickly rates can increase.

Others are pausing on buying or reconfiguring their expectations on their home search and what they can realistically afford. Some are opting to stay put if the move is more a want and less of a need.

“We have increased the conversations around interest rates, but there’s still such a shortage of inventory and demand is still so high that it seems to be conversation No. 3, 4 or 5,” said Lauren Walz, the Western Springs and La Grange Realtor for the Dawn McKenna Group.

“There have been more adjustments to budgets and expectations because of the interest rate hikes than actual changes in the housing market. A little bit of a hike has created some conversation, but if you look over the past 20 to 30 years, they’re still historically low.”

© Copyright, 2022, Courier News; Chicago Tribune, Darcel Rockett. All rights reserved.