FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne real estate broker issued an update on where Allen County and the surrounding area’s housing markets lie. This comes after an average long-term mortgage rate hike to above 7% for U.S. buyers was announced Thursday.

Tiffiny Holmes, a real estate broker with Keller Williams, has been in real estate for 15 years. She says mortgage rates going up means that buying power will be affected even more.

“Our median price range in Allen County is about $180,000 to $220,000, so what that does is if you have a preapproved buyer for $225,000 and their interest rate goes up a percentage, that basically decreases the amount of loan they can get because that interest rate is more,” Holmes said.

Ryan Schilitz, chief lending officer at Three Rivers Federal Credit Union, says buyers may have to think of different ways to make up for the decrease.

“With rates being up, the home that they want, they may have to put a little bit more money down to make that payment more affordable,” Schilitz said.

Schilitz also mentions that it’s more prevalent now for sellers to participate by helping with closing costs or paying down interest rates than in previous years.

Holmes says the problem with a decrease in buying power is because the housing market is still strong, finding a home for $170,000 — which is what the buying power could end up being for the average buyer — is competitive, and there is a limit of what’s available. She says this leads back to the issue of needing more housing on the market.

“We need more. We need more listings. We need more inventory, and we need people not to be afraid to put their homes on the market and move to the next step, whether it’s upsizing, down sizing, moving to assisted living, maybe going into a condo,” Holmes said.

Holmes says even with the interest rate increase, it’s still a good time to buy. To tackle the market, she suggests marrying the mortgage and dating the rate.

“Marry that you’re going to commit to purchasing a home, it’s still the perfect time to buy,” Holmes said, “If the interest rates tend to go up, then you’re in a great position because you’ve gotten a better interest rate if they go down, all you have to do is refinance.”