Housing market remains unchanged after Fed holds interest rate

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COLUMBIA - Residents can take a breather after the Federal Reserve decided to keep national interest rates the same.

According to an Associated Press report, Fed officials said the job market is solid, but worldly pressures could possibly bring down already low inflation and "restrain economic activity".

For the housing market, residents looking to either buy or sell a home can continue to do so.

One realtor said the possible interest rate change wouldn't have affected those in real estate, except for one specific group of potential buyers.

"It [higher interest rates] would mostly affect the entry level buyer," Dawn McGhee said. "If the rates had went up a quarter, half or even a full percent, it could push them out of the market."

The current interest rate is between 3.8 and 4.125 percent. The 4.125 percent interest rate corresponds to houses worth under $150,000, and the 3.8 percent to houses worth between $150,000 and $400,000. 

McGhee also said rates are still historically low for the nation.

"Anything under 8 percent is low," McGhee said. "We've been in this low interest rate for so long people are kind of jaded into thinking that if you have to pay 5 percent, oh my gosh the world is going to end, but that's still a great rate."

She said the rates have barely moved over the last couple of years, and buyers who are qualified should focus on not making large purchases. A huge purchase could have a bigger effect on the buyer than interest rates themselves.

"I'm not an economist, but I think that the recovery that the media keeps talking about is not as strong clearly, as what we're being told," McGhee said. "Otherwise they would have raised it and we'd have a stronger economy."

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