FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Traditionally, spring brings more houses onto the market.
But people ready to make the leap and buy a home are surprised to see how much mortgage interest rates have surged in the past two months.
"It's like they hear a barking dog, but they don't really pay attention to it until it bites them on the leg and when they see that bite, they're like oh my goodness," says Paul Salazar of Sierra Pacific Mortgage.
Salazar says the current FHA rate on a 30-year loan, if you have a 680 FICO score, is 5.625.
At the beginning of the year, that interest rate was more than two points lower at 3.375.
The rate increase means home buyers have to make a much bigger monthly payment.
The higher interest rates also represent a bigger barrier for many people who have been trying to break through in a highly competitive housing market.
"I think the first-time home buyers are the ones that are impacted the most," says Steve Flach with the Fresno Association of Realtors. "They typically don't have the wherewithal or the reserves to come in and guarantee cash above the appraised value or possibly waive appraisal contingencies."
Salazar believes interest rates will increase a few more times this year to 6, even 6 1/2 percent.