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What goes up must come down. Isaac Newton must be scratching his head in the grave because his law of gravity doesn’t apply to the American housing market – at least not yet. The Federal Reserve just raised rates for the first time since 2018 and the average 30-year fixed mortgage rates is now 4.95%. Yet new home sales continue to rise with no sign of slowing down. 772,000 new homes were sold in February. March sales dipped slightly in early March but the market is still red hot, according to real estate experts in the Tampa Bay area.

Fortune Magazine says the housing market is in uncharted waters. Some real estate models predict the housing boom will continue into 2023, others declare that it will level off by summer. The Federal Reserve says that there will be 7 more rate hikes this year to help curb the highest inflation in 40 years, but they also say inflation will remain high throughout the rest of the year which will lead to increasing mortgage rates.

That hasn’t deterred buyers in boom markets like Tampa Bay, where the average price of a home is now $374,697 and home values have gone up 31.5% in the past year, according to Zillow. The demand for housing is so high in Tampa Bay that cash buyers from other states sometimes offer $10,000 to $20,000 over the asking price. Real estate agents in Manatee County just south of Tampa even use lottery systems since there are so many buyers.

When are buyers are going to retreat? When will the red-hot market will go cold? For the moment, it’s a guessing game. The sky-high demand is bound to cool off with more rising rates, but right now we are witnessing one of the hottest real estate streaks in history.

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