CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Inflation is affecting gas, groceries and many other commodities nationwide.
But now real estate agents say inflation is also affecting the housing market.
Corpus Christi real estate agent Lydia Ransom said people couldn’t afford to buy a house because inflation was so high on other commodities.
She said that, in turn, discourages people from buying a home.
Unfortunately for Ransom, that means she takes on fewer clients.
She said that about four months ago she had about six clients and now she has one or two.
Ransom says that to supplement her income, she has to take a second job.
“I always thought we had to have a backup, so in 2018 – my husband and I – we went in and got our life insurance license and I sold some life insurance,” said Ransom said.
She said inflation also affects the prices of building materials like lumber.
Because of this, builders must raise home prices even after a customer qualifies for a home loan.
“My client at the time she qualified, she was kind of maxed out at that price, and so she didn’t qualify anymore,” she said.
His clients, the Guartuche family, closed their house a few weeks ago.
Prior to that, they had sold their home about seven months previously, but were unable to buy a home, leaving them to go from short-term rentals to hotels while trying to find one.
Kandee Guartuche said they were looking for a VA or Veterans Land Board loan, but said lenders don’t charge a lot of fees, so it was difficult to find a loan in the market with the type of loan they wanted.
“I really recommend that buyers spend a lot of time researching the interest rate, researching the market and the process, so they know what they need to do before they start selling or buying a home,” Gartuche said.
Realtor Will Storbeck said rising federal interest rates are making interest on loans more expensive.
“I’ve had clients that can’t be endorsed as much as they used to be, so I’d say I’ve had a few less clients than me,” Storbeck said.
He added that if the price of a house is higher than its market value, the seller may have to lower the price so people can afford it.
Storbeck said some sellers whose homes have been on the market longer also need to lower their prices.
But Storbeck remains optimistic about the future of the market.
“It’s always good to see real estate as an investment because over time it depreciates, but given the current circumstances rates are going to continue to rise and that’s exactly the reality we’re going to have to deal with.” , said Storbeck.