YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Coming on the heels of Wednesday’s key interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve, an executive from the National Association of Realtors says it could be good news.

The Federal Reserve raised its key interest rate by a quarter-point on Wednesday. It’s the eighth hike since March and more could follow.

At the same time, Chair Jerome Powell said at a news conference that the Fed recognizes that the pace of inflation has eased — a signal that it could be nearing the end of its rate hikes.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist and senior vice president of research for the National Association of Realtors, agrees, predicting mortgage rates could dip down to 5.5 percent by the end of the year.

“The Fed is showing its willingness to adjust policy based on data. Softer inflation of late led to a softer rate increase today. As inflation calms further from rising apartment vacancies in upcoming months, the Fed will adjust to a no-rate increase by the middle of the year and even a rate cut by December. That is good news for mortgage rates, which will possibly fall to 5.5 percent by the year end,” Yun said.

The current average rate for the benchmark 30-year fixed mortgage is 6.45 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.