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Buying or selling a home in Corpus Christi is a tricky proposition in this economy

Two local real estate experts explain the crazy housing market, where prices are high at the same time that mortgage rates are at a 20-year high.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — National experts say home sales are falling fast and prices are coming down, but mortgage rates keep climbing. 

Despite that, local real-estate experts said it's still a sellers market. 

"Corpus Christi's real-estate market has gone way up in value," said Guernsey and Associates' Gene Guernsey. "It has gone way down in inventory over three years now, and now it's beginning to calm down." 

Some homeowners have been trying to wait out the high prices. Right now, the median price for homes in Corpus Christi is $262,178. That's up 7 percent compared with the same time period last year, according to the Texas Realtor Data Relevance Project.

"We are not seeing the craziness and as many multiple-offer situations as we had a year ago," said real-estate agent Janet Freeman. "Inventory is normalizing, prices are still up a bit, but the inventory is up and the close sales are down probably due to in large part to interest rates." 

Interest rates are now at a 20-year high of over 7 percent for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Guernsey said he had a banker run some numbers for him on the effects of rising mortgage rates since January on a $330,000 home.

"In January -- that interest rate if the people maxed out the maximum amount of money they could borrow in January by June -- more than 40 percent of them could no longer qualify for the same loan," he said. 

Because of the huge demand for houses, Guernsey says it will continue to be a sellers market until there's a six-month backlog of housing inventory.

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