LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Mortgage rates are at their highest levels for the first time in 20 years.

Despite the increase, in some places, the skyrocketing rates are helping bring down home prices in some of the country’s hottest housing markets.

Housing affordability is down 29% from a year ago.

Consistent fed rate hikes are putting pressure on the real estate market.

Nationwide, home prices soared 43% in two years, but now in cities that had those massive spikes, prices are being slashed.

The fastest cooling markets are Seattle, Las Vegas, San Jose, San Diego, Sacramento and Denver.

Housing markets that are strong include Chicago, Albany and Milwaukee.

Los Angeles realtor Craig Strong says buyers and sellers need to adapt to the changing market, especially during fall’s traditional home sales slowdown.

“It’s a changing market, 2008 was a crash landing. I feel it’s going to be a soft landing as people get adjusted to the new rates and purchase prices,” Strong said.

Experts say despite the price cuts, the average monthly mortgage payment is still higher than if you bought a home at the peak of the market.

If the rate drops, you can always refinance to ease the pain.