SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – With home mortgage interest rates rising, housing inventory is rising too.

“Inventory is coming back, which is great for buyers,” said Dejan Eskic, chief economist for Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

So does that mean it’s a good time for buyers — or sellers?

“If you and I are buying a home for our families to live in, and we can afford it, you buy,” said Eskic, who is also a senior research fellow at the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

“You buy when you can afford, that’s always the answer. Because if you’re going to flip it, you gotta really know the market and the data and it’s really case specific,” added Eskic.

Flipping a home — or buying one as an investment — is more complicated, he said.

That’s because interest rates are rising, among myriad other factors.

Eskic says the rising interest rates have priced out many would-be homebuyers.

“Interest rates skyrocketing from low 3s, mid 2s up to high 5s low 6s, now all of a sudden our monthly payment goes from about $1,400 per month to $2,600 a month – so a $1,200 increase,” said Eskic.

He says this means rent prices will continue to rise, as 70 to 75 percent of Utahns are now priced out of buying a median-priced home.

“The prices are still in a different universe. We are averaging $530,000 on median sales of a home, we’re at $660,000 plus in Salt Lake County — those are coastal numbers if we had this conversation three years ago,” said Eskic.