Central Coast Mortgage Applicants Decline Despite National Growth, Other News

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

The Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Poll shows that after many weeks of declining mortgage applications, mortgage applications increased nationwide during the week of Sept. 16.

But we don’t see the same trend here on the Central Coast.

“The hype has kind of died down just because the value has gone up so much,” said Lindsey Harn, real estate specialist at Richardson Properties.

“Affordability has definitely made life difficult for many buyers due to higher mortgage rates,” said Robert Mariani, owner/broker of Mariani Realty.

Local realtors say high interest rates are making people less likely to buy.

“Last year, in 2021, around the same time, interest rates were 3.125%. This year they are 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 a lot.”

Although local property prices have not changed significantly, the state of the housing market has made some sellers more lenient.

“If people need to sell their home on a deadline, they need to be a little more realistic or work with a potential homebuyer to help them buy back their interest rate,” Harn said.

“Just when things look bad, that’s when the best opportunities open up,” Mariani said.

Mariani says that while prices haven’t really changed, buyers have the right to negotiate.

“Higher mortgage rates will make life difficult for buyers with their purchasing power, but right now buyers are still benefiting because they have regained their bargaining power,” Mariani said.

“There was a funny meme going around online — ‘marry a house but date an interest rate,’” Harn said.

Harn says interest rates are likely to come down by next year and be in the 4-4.5% range.

“So if you can get into the house now and keep paying, hopefully you have a bright future ahead of you,” Harn said.

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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