1st Quarter Market Update for the Triangle

If you want to sell your home in Wake County, now’s an excellent time. But it’s not so great if you’re a buyer due to low inventory levels and higher home prices. Still, Wake County is shaping up to be in a better spot than last year thanks to a rosier employment picture, higher new home prices and more showings.

Home Prices

How does Wake County fit into the national picture? Locally, prices rose 4.91% over last year. Nationally for the first quarter, home prices were up 9.3% in February compared to last year, according to the 20-city Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index. Phoenix, like its namesake, rose the greatest from the housing ash with a 23% gain over last year. No Triangle homes were listed in the survey, but Charlotte home prices rose by 5.1%. The average home price for the U.S. is $210,000 as of February 2013. Wake County prices only rose 1.94% over last year to $243,720. The average list price for Wake County was up 7% to $329,000. As my dad would say, “Nothing to write home about,” but it’s not negative news.

The numbers get interesting when we consider new home prices. New homebuilders aren’t dropping their prices nearly as fast—in fact, dropped list prices are at their lowest percentage since 2005. This means that buyers are getting used to paying higher prices for homes. A factor at work here is an undersupply of new homes, making buyers having to accept new home price increases. As prices go up, this bodes well for our local economy because higher prices will increase re-sale housing prices and the equity in those homes. As prices go up, more homeowners realize this the ideal time to sell their home and get a great price for it and buy a home before the prices rise any further. Confidence is growing by the number of showings that increased 13% this quarter, which is a good indicator heading into the summer and fall.

Employment Numbers

While inventory levels are still very tight, Wake County is in an excellent position for job growth. According to the North Carolina Employment Security Commission’s February numbers, the employed workforce within Wake County was 454,460. This represents a 2% increase compared to the employed workforce at the end of February 2012. The unemployment rate has dropped to 7.2% from 7.9% last year.

Inventory Levels

Still. We need job growth, more consumer confidence, which will increase inventory and supply. More supply will increase prices. Inventory is low with 4,319 listings on the market at the end of the first quarter, a decrease of 26%. New home inventory decreased 19% and re-sale inventory decreased 28% with the average days on the market for these listings decreasing to 99 from 127. Raleigh home inventory levels reveal that inventory of distressed sales (foreclosures and short sales) has declined to 8% of total homes for sale in the Triangle real estate market, down from 9% at the end of 1st quarter last year. The number of foreclosure filings in the county decreased 17%. Nationally, foreclosures are down 23% with 200,000 homes no longer underwater.

Today’s real estate market is complex and you want an experienced Realtor at your side who will go to bat for you and only you. Reach out to me and my team will put you in the right home and in the right neighborhood for you. Buying a home is not just a transaction to us, it’s about the relationship we build with you and the lives we help you find.

Call me today at 919-981-5795 to find out what’s happening housing-wise in your neighborhood.

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Contact Jason Graves, Broker and Neighborhood Specialist
www.JasonBGraves.com and his blog at raleighrealestatenews.com
2701 Rowland Road, Suite 300
Raleigh, NC 27615