Eastern Carolina realtors react to national mortgage demand drop

NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) – Nationally, the demand for mortgages continues to slide, but some realtors in the East say they aren’t seeing the same trend.

According to the latest numbers from the Mortgage Bankers Association, applications for new mortgages fell 1.2% last week.

In the past 12 months, the demand is down 29%, as interest rates climb past 6% for the first time since 2008.

However, realtors in Craven County say that despite the increase, over the past six months, interest rates are still lower than they were 15 years ago. Experts say despite the steady uptick, houses along the coast continue to sell at a good pace.

“When people see those interest rates go up, they have that fear that they’re going to be paying more money, and in actuality, they are,” Heather Stepp, Keller Williams of New Bern CEO said. “However, interest rates are still the lowest that they’ve been over the past six months, over the past 10 to 15, 20 years.”

The 6% interest rate for mortgages is essentially double what it was this time last year, but Stepp says the median sales price increased by 20% in the past year.

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