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'Important piece of the puzzle': How will latest interest rate hike impact Omaha housing market?

The Federal Reserve increased the interest rate to the highest it's been in 14 years Wednesday
Posted at 6:42 PM, Sep 21, 2022

ELKHORN, Neb. (KMTV) — Emilie Wells and her family are looking for a change; they're wondering if they should renovate and stay at their current house or if they are ready to buy something else.

"Seeing rates still continuing to rise makes you question, kind of, where you should be buying, what you should be buying — 'cause it's an important piece of the puzzle when you're making a decision," Wells said.

Real Estate Agent Shelli Klemke says the average home stays on the market for 38 days now. Buyers aren't feeling a lot of urgency to make bids and that's making some sellers anxious. She expects the Fed's moves will impact first-time homebuyers the most.

"These first-time homebuyers have most likely, again, a budget. Everything coming in and out is very cautiously watched. These changes to their monthly payments are going to be more dramatic to somebody that's on maybe less of an income," Klemke said.

Mortgage broker Jack Shotbolt believes mortgage rates might settle down a bit as the Fed continues to fight inflation.

Currently, mortgage rates have climbed above 6%. Shotbolt expects they could rise over the next 45 days, but there's a general belief rates will relax next year and dip below 5%.

"I think, given this exposure to higher rates is gonna be good and I think it's gonna be good for a strong housing market, especially in the Omaha area," Shotbolt said.

It's making way for future buyers like Wells, who is ready to put down roots.

"It's just that unknown: is now the right time? It almost always feels like a little bit of a gamble and you wanna make sure you end up on the right side of it," Wells said.

With fluctuating interest rates, it's suggested consumers turn to mortgage lenders to see which type of loan is the best fit.

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