Home prices were up 12.5 percent in October, according to the latest reading from CoreLogic. While the gains are beginning to slow, the sharp move up this year has rattled the housing recovery.
"We have come too far too fast," Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said on CNBC's "Squawkbox."
Consumers are now "dual tracking" on Zillow—comparing rents to purchase prices—but not paying nearly enough attention to mortgage rates, he said.
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"Most American homebuyers are still so uneducated about the importance of mortgages that they obsess about whether a home is going to be $300,000 or $310,000, but whether they're paying 4 percent or 4.2 percent is lost on them," Rascoff said.
Despite rising rates, several mortgage products are available, and you may be able to reduce your monthly payment a bit if you have clean credit and a solid down payment. In today's market, of course, those are big ifs. While housing price gains had been viewed as a sign of recovery, most are now saying that a slowdown going into 2014 is a good thing.
"The slowdown in price appreciation is positive for the housing market as almost half the states are now within 10 percent of their respective historical price peaks," said Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic.
Taking a collective breath will help some during the slow winter season, but buyers should beware that spring could bring not just higher prices but higher mortgage rates. The days of the 3 percent 30-year fixed are clearly over.
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