Mar 11, 2024 - News

Triangle home prices could jump if and when mortgage rates drop this year

Median home sales price in the Raleigh metro area
Data: Redfin; Chart: Alice Feng and Jared Whalen/Visuals

Raleigh home sales cooled last year as interest rates squeezed buyers and homeowners alike. But decreasing interest rates won't solve the housing affordability crisis.

  • In fact, prices may rise when rates come down.

Why it matters: Steep borrowing costs are just one part of the housing affordability equation.

  • Lower mortgage rates could push home prices up in Raleigh and nationwide if demand surges and inventory remains tight.

State of play: U.S. rates for 30-year mortgages are down from 20-year highs, but have are still hovering around 7%.

The big picture: This is the least affordable housing market for first-time buyers in more than four decades.

  • The monthly cost of a typical mortgage for a house rose to 40% of a buyer's household income last year, the highest rate since the 1980s, per Capital Economics. That crashed demand from first-time buyers.

What they're saying: "It's all about mortgage interest rates" when forecasting what home prices will do this year, Stacey Anfindsen, the author of the Triangle Area Residential Realty market report, wrote last month.

  • "Any downward trend in mortgage interest rates will spike demand and produce double digit house price metric increases," he added.
  • "Any upward trend in mortgage interest rates will keep demand at current levels and produce low single digit house price metric increases."

Go deeper on how mortgage rates could influence the real estate market

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