Homebuyers worried mortgage rates hit 20-year high.

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Recent interest rate hikes by the Fed are causing some major disruption in the housing market.

While the measures are intended to slow inflation, economists say potential buyers are finding it difficult to afford a home.

Genide Nazaire has been house hunting for two years.

“It was very difficult,” Nazaire said. We are pre-qualified for a certain amount that the market is not giving us.

The latest figures show that debt levels have reached a 20-year high, forcing Nazaire to stay put.

“We just renewed our lease, which we didn’t plan to do two years ago,” Nazaire said. “Everything is very high. So homes that were selling for $250 to $300,000 at the start of 2018/2017 are now $5 to $600,000.

Genide Nazaire


Genide Nazaire

According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 6.92 percent. This is the highest average rate since April 2002, and more than double the rate a year ago.

“Either the price has to come down a little bit or you’re going to have a lot of people with money from other states, investors and so on,” said Realtor Michael Brooks.

While Brooks is still very busy due to the overall demand in the market, high interest rates are difficult for people struggling to buy a home.

“In the Florida market, property values ​​are up 30% over the last year, basically pricing everyone out of the market,” Brooks said.

Habitat for Humanity Palm Beach County works to help families in our community have a home.

“It’s impossible for low-income people,” said Peter Gates, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Palm Beach County. “Without nonprofits like ours, these people wouldn’t have a chance.”

Habitat hosted its annual “Over the Edge” fundraising event on Saturday. Dozens of people have donated to reverse a high-rise building in West Palm Beach.

Habitat for Humanity's Over the Edge event


Habitat for Humanity’s annual “Over the Edge” event in West Palm Beach.

“It’s more about doing the seemingly impossible,” Gates said. It drives home the message that we are doing something very difficult, but very important, by building and repairing homes for low-income people in Palm Beach County.

The reality is that as long as inflation is still a problem, prospective home buyers like Nazaire will continue to wait for the opportunity.

“I don’t see the light at the end of this tunnel,” Nazaire said. “We could be kicked out of Palm Beach. We may have to consider moving elsewhere.”

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