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“It’s almost what I’d call a fragmented market. The areas that got hit worst by sub-prime (lending), they’ve come roaring back at the lower end,” he says, pointing to speculative markets in areas such as Florida and Southern California.

On the other end of the spectrum, affluent buyers are usually completely different animals.

The typical high-end buyer, brokers say, will likely do well in a high-rate environment because so many of them don’t need mortgages to make a deal. They just need cash.

June Slusser, president of Coldwell Banker High Country Realty, a high-end market in the Blue Ridge Mountains, 100 miles north of Atlanta, Ga., says the prices in her territory are likely more secure than in other areas because a large portion of the deals are all cash.

Without the dependency on a buyer having to secure a mortgage, the question of interest rates is entirely out of the question. But even in High Country, some borrowing might be required for the purchase of a second home.

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