AUSTIN (KXAN) — Even with another interest rate hike pushing up mortgage rates, one realty company said the scales are tipping in favor of homebuyers.

Tom Thornton with Realty Austin said the fixed rate on a 30-year mortgage is over 6% for the first time since 2008, as the Fed continues to push back against inflation. But Austin is also seeing some favorable conditions for homebuyers, he said.

Thornton said Realty Austin has been studying the market. Here’s what it found:

  • Homes are selling at or just below their asking prices on average.
  • The average home sales prices have been decreasing since June.
  • Available home inventory is up 170% compared to this time last year.
  • More home sellers are taking buyer-friendly terms, including contingencies.
  • Builders also have inventory now and are negotiating with buyers.

Thornton said sellers are also “beginning to have more realistic expectations about their home’s value.”

Realty Austin’s data shows the median home sale price is up 5% year-over-year, but down 4% month-over-month. It’s also the fourth month in a row the median home price has gone down from its peak of $555,000 in May 2022.

Home values have also been depreciating at increasing rates every month this year, so far, the data shows.

Realty Austin said median sale prices usually fall during autumn, and the company believes the increasing interest rates will probably keep pushing those home prices down.

The company’s data shows along with increased inventory, homes are staying on the market longer, giving buyers more time to negotiate.

All this translates to a much more buyer-friendly market than we’ve seen in the last two years, the company said.

For example, it points to REALTOR.com data that shows 95% of sellers in August reported buyers requested a home inspection, and 67% of those sellers negotiated with buyers on repairs based on the inspection report.

REALTOR.com also found 92% of all recent sellers accepted some buyers’ terms, including a home-price drop, because the home didn’t meet the appraisal or paying for some or all of the buyer’s closing costs.

Because of all of these factors lowering housing prices on the front-end, Realty Austin said some in Austin are taking the plunge into buying, getting alternative financing and seeking down payment assistance programs to help lower their monthly payments in the face of high mortgage rates.