RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN)–Thursday afternoon, home realtors and builders came together to network and discuss housing concerns and opportunities in the Triangle.

Despite fluctuating rates and inflation that’s made families hesitant to buy a home, TowneBank Mortgage Vice President Phil Jawny said, “I would say that the housing market is more stable than it’s ever been.”

While families worry about affordable housing and availability concerns, Jawny said there are a lot of options and opportunities available to bridge the affordability gap.

Jawny said the average household payment in North Carolina is now more than $3,000 a month, but he said home buyers are in a position where they can negotiate with builders and sellers unlike the past 24 months. He said, “for folks who might have been put on the sidelines for the last 24 months, those individuals now in today’s market can flourish.”

Jawny said he and others are anticipating interest rates to drop as inflation declines throughout 2023. He added, “There’s a lot of volatility with inflation right now and over the last couple of weeks especially with it peaking, that you’re seeing interest rates swing in full percentage points up or down which has never happened in U.S. history.” Jawny said the recent fluctuation has created a lot of confusion about whether or not it’s a good time to buy.

Michael Terbet, with the Ida Terbet Team, said he attended Thursday’s event to learn more about the market and how his team can help consumers. Terbet said, “this market is best for first time buyers or buyers who couldn’t compete with cash offers, where they didn’t have the liquid, the due diligence money, they couldn’t compete. Now, they’re in a position where they can negotiate.”

Terbet said one of the biggest issues in the Triangle is inventory- he said the Triangle still needs houses. However, Terbet said that the buyer still has more choices compared to what the market looked like during the height of the pandemic. He said, “don’t be startled because we have been so numb to rates being so low for so long.”

Matt Riley, co-owner of New Home Inc. said their company is hoping to alleviate some of the inventory concerns. Riley said their business faced challenges with supply chain issues and the continuous growth of people moving to the Triangle. He added, “as a homebuilder company, we want to really understand what buyers are looking for–locally and nationally–as they start relocating and make sure that we’re bringing that to market at a fair price.”