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Many Real Estate Brokers Believe 5.5% Rates Will Stunt Market: Redfin

JAN 3, 2014 4:45pm ET
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Nearly 40% of real estate agents surveyed believe home sales and price appreciation would be slowed if mortgage interest rates reach 5.5%, a survey from Redfin finds.

An additional one-third of respondents believe rates will have to get to 6% to affect sales and home values.

There is some room before conforming mortgage rates reach that point. The most recent Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey puts rates for the 30-year fixed-rate loan at just above 4.5%.

Meanwhile the run-up in values because of the inventory shortage is creating a logjam in the market. In 4Q13, 63% of agents said sellers have "unrealistic expectations" about the value of their home, nearly flat from the third quarter. At the same time, 31% say that sellers are frustrated with the number of homes available that they would be interested in buying.

Limited inventory is the No. 1 concern for buyers, nearly nine in 10 agents say, followed by bidding wars (65% of respondents). Eight in 10 respondents in 3Q13 cited a bidding war as a buyer concern.

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