STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (WTAJ) — Mortgage rates across the nation are going up. Just last week, rates rose to 5%.

“If somebody was able to afford a certain house with, you know, 3.75%, and now they’re getting quoted at 5 and a quarter, that changes their affordability,” said Tim Flanagan, a realtor at Kissinger Bigatel & Brower Realtor.

Potential home buyers may find themselves paying more than expected for a home. The median price of a home has risen to $357,300, up 15% from 2021.

“Right now, price is strictly a starting point for competition,” said Brian Rutter, a realtor at Keller Williams Advantage Realty. “So, you’re not even negotiating directly with a seller, you’re actually competing against other buyers to tempt the seller.”

Rutter has seen high prices and interest rates result in real-time changes for buyers.

“I was working with some folks who were in a, let’s call it $235,000 price range,” Rutter said. “They were at about $1,350 for their payment, then, for a $235,000 house with 10% down. Now, that same buyer, with current interest rates, when we just ran the cost estimate the other day it came in around $1570.”

While prices soar, the number of homes on the market has dipped. Sales were down 2.4% in Feb. compared to one year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“There’s a lot of people looking to buy, too few houses, so we have an inventory problem at the macro level,” Flanagan said. “You’ve just a structural imbalance with how many people are looking to buy houses versus how many people are looking to sell.”

For first-time buyers, Rutter said it may take a few tries to find the perfect home.

“We’re seeing a lot of people who are going through the process of striking out one, two, three, four times until they really have a pulse for what it’s gonna take to compete,” Rutter said.