FORT WORTH, Texas — As she unlocked the door to her newly purchased home in Fort Worth, Carolyn Blackman rejoiced.
“I’m excited about it,” Blackman said.
She sees the light after experiencing the turbulence of the real estate market. The school counselor told WFAA she was outbid several times when she tried to purchase a newly built home.
"You have your hopes and desires all up, and then all of a sudden you get the call you didn’t get it," Blackman said. “Your dreams just fall apart.”
Bidding wars combined with rising mortgage rates aimed to combat inflation forced her to pivot during her home-buying journey.
“It’s scary,” Blackman said. “I knew I had to get a house, because I don’t believe that my sons, who are grown and live in apartments, will be able to get a house by next year.”
With the help of her real estate agent, Colleen Love, Blackman was able to secure a home in DFW’s hot market.
Love said flexibility is necessary in today’s market.
“We’re having to pivot and change everything. It may be location, now you find consumers driving further out for a home, choosing a one-story home instead of two,” Love said.
Data from the National Association of Realtors shows the average 30-year fixed mortgage rate doubled in less than six months.
Back in January 2022, lingered at around 3%. Today, they’re well over 6%, according to the NAR.
Now that mortgage rates are higher, home ownership is becoming unattainable more difficult for home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, according to InTouch Credit Union President & CEO Kent Lugrand.
“The biggest impact is that more than likely they’ll have to lower their budget or relook at how much they can afford,” Lugrand said.
According to Lawrence Yun, a chief economist with the National Association of Realtors, on a $300,000 mortgage, the monthly payment has risen from $1,265 in December to $1,800 today.
“That's painful and, consequently, will shrink the buyer pool,” Yun said in an online blog for NAR.
Love said this year, she has lost three clients who were priced out of the market when trying to purchase newly built homes in DFW. She’s determined to make the dream of buying a home possible for people navigating today’s market.
“It saddens me for the average first time buyer, because a lot of people are gonna be priced out of the market and not be able to experience the American dream,” Love said.
While mortgage rate hikes are aimed at lowering home prices, Lugrand estimates home values in DFW will remain strong.
“Home prices are going to come down, fall. I don’t think they’ll fall in a dramatic way, because of the demand for housing in this market,” Lugrand said.
More than two years on, the DFW housing market still keeps many on their toes.