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Number of mortgage applicants on the Central Coast decreasing despite a national increase

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Posted at 7:12 PM, Sep 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-22 22:39:10-04

A weekly survey from the Mortgage Banker's Association shows that after many weeks of declining numbers, the volume of mortgage applications increased nationally during the week of September 16.

But we aren't seeing the same trend here on the Central Coast.

"The frenzy has sort of minimized just because the cost has gone up so significantly," said Lindsey Harn, Richardson Properties Real Estate Professional.

"Affordability has definitely made it more difficult with higher mortgage rates for many buyers," said Robert Mariani, Mariani Realty Owner/Broker.

Due to high interest rates, local realtors say people are feeling less inclined to buy.

"Last year in 2021, around this time, interest rates were at 3.125%. This year, they're hovering around 6.125%," Harn said. "So we're actually seeing fewer people applying for mortgages because the cost of actually borrowing that money has gone up significantly."

Though local real estate prices have not shown a significant change, the state of the housing market has made some sellers more lenient.

"If people do need to sell their home in a timeframe, they need to be a little more realistic or work with a potential homebuyer to help them buy down their interest rate," Harn said.

"Just when things look bad, that's when the best opportunities are out there," Mariani said.

Mariani says although prices haven't really changed, buyers have the power to negotiate.

"Higher mortgage rates are going to make it more difficult for buyers with their purchasing power, but right now, buyers are still getting a value because they've regained their negotiating power," Mariani said.

"There's been a funny meme going around online — 'marry the house but date the interest rate,'" Harn said.

Harn says by next year, interest rates will likely decrease and be in the 4-4.5% range.

"So if you can get into a house now and stomach the payment, there's hopefully a brighter future ahead," Harn said.