SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO)–The Federal Reserve made its 9th rate increase since last March in its ongoing fight against inflation. Wednesday’s quarter point increase doesn’t have a direct impact on mortgage rates, but like all interest rates right now, mortgage rates have seen unprecedented volatility over the past year.

What the constant changes mean for prospective home buyers in tonight’s Your Money Matters.

“It’s been very unusual,” Levo Mortgage Loan Officer Tyana Viss said.

Over the past year mortgage rates bounced around from below five percent to above seven percent.

“Used to be when they would change, they’d change by a quarter for a couple of weeks at most, so its been very volatile,” Viss said.

That two percent swing can have a major impact on a home buyer’s potential payment.

“It’s a few hundred dollars, so it makes a really big difference on your monthly budget,” Viss said. 

It’s why mortgage lenders at Levo say it’s so important for anyone thinking about buying a home to make sure they’re in constant contact with an expert mortgage adviser.

“We run numbers both ways, up and down when we’re doing a pre approval, so you’re comfortable and kind of know what range you’d be in,” Viss said.

“I was calling her all of the time, what is it today, what is it today?” Sioux Falls homeowner Heidi Macrunnels said.

Macrunnels closed on her new home in January.

“We were looking for probably a week, it wasn’t very long, we looked every day, probably at three houses a day,” Macrunnels said.

But even in just one week of looking, rates changed dramatically.

“When I started looking it was at 6.7 percent, within that first week of us looking it had dropped to 6.3, so I locked it in, decided it was good enough and I didn’t want to take any more chances,” Macrunnels said.

Even though rates might be higher and more volatile right now, both bankers and buyers say homes are still a good investment many people.

“I decided that it was time,” Macrunnels said. “It feels much more like home, I’m happy that I’m comfortable and can see a future for myself in this home.”

While homebuyer traffic is down compared to last year, Levo mortgage lenders say plenty of people are still buying homes despite the market concerns.

“They’re scared but still looking,” Viss said. “A home is still a good asset to have, so vs. renting, you can still find a home, you just want to make sure you know what you’re going to be paying.”

The National Association of Realtors says existing home sales have declined for the 12th consecutive month across the U.S.; in the Sioux Falls area, new listings dropped by more than 24 percent in February.