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PHOENIX -- A Valley real estate expert said the recent boost in mortgage interest rates isn't slowing the home-buying market.

The interest rate boost is actually working in the buyer's favor, according to Dean Wegner with Guaranteed Rate. He said for the past couple of years sellers held all the cards, picking from multiple offers. This interest rate boost levels the playing field.

"Buyers will have more flexibility negotiating with an easier close of escrow, you won't get bullied by other buyers or their agents," he said.

And to potential home buyers who are frightened off by a 5 percent mortgage rate, Wegner said rentals come with a 100 percent interest rate.

Wegner said the rate hike to almost 5 percent prevented a possible housing bubble because seeing home prices jump 20 percent year over year was unsustainable.

"We needed something to hit the brakes."

Wegner said the interest rate boost will add about $150 each month to the mortgage on a $250,000 home and much of that is tax deductible.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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