Triangle Market Update: The Skies Are Blue
Spring time is a lovely time in North Carolina’s Triangle region. For the most part, humidity is low, the skies are blue and the sun is bright. It’s also an opportune time to check in with our local housing market. A bird’s eye view shows all numbers going up, except, of course, the numbers you want to go down, like days on the market. Unlike most weather predictions, those who predicted the Triangle’s continued housing market success got it 100% right.
Urban Land Institute (ULI) forecasted success last fall in its ULI and PwC’s joint 2017 Emerging Trends in Real Estate® report presented at the Durham Convention Center. One article states,
The Triangle climbed to #7 on the report’s Markets to Watch list, besting a host of other growing cities and urban areas across the U.S.—including Charlotte.
And Triangle MLS tells a similar story. According to its research, here’s what you find when comparing March 2017 to March 2016 for the entire Triangle region:
- New Listings up 7%
- Closed Sales up 14.4%
- Median Sales Price up 7.1%
- Average Sales Price up 5.9%
- Total Dollar Volume up 21.2%
- Days on the Market down 20.3%
According to the Triangle Business Journal, these numbers do not come as a surprise. Both Durham and Raleigh landed in the top 15 of SmartAsset’s study of the healthiest housing markets, with Durham slightly outperforming its next-door neighbor as No. 14 nationally and Raleigh coming in the No. 15 spot.
This designation makes sense considering data released by the U.S. Census Bureau naming Raleigh as one of the country’s fastest growing metropolitan areas. According to New Homes and Ideas, Raleigh earned the No. 14 spot out of 25, by adding more than 31,500 people, a 2.5% increase, to its population from July 2015 to July 2016.
The same article suggests that so many find Raleigh desirable because of its numerous new home communities available in the area. Of course, the educated and diverse population in addition to the “gorgeous green spaces, family-friendly parks, award-winning museums and hundreds of entertainment options” also add to the area’s apparent draw.
But some of the Triangle MLS numbers aren’t as attractive:
- Inventory of Homes for Sale down 12.4%
- Months Supply of Inventory down 19.4%
With inventory down over 12%, a home seeker in March 2016 probably had an easier time finding her perfect new home in the Triangle’s market. With months’ supply down over 19%, a home buyer today will probably score better in his home search than a future Triangle home buyer.
Realtor Frank Tangari said the Raleigh real estate market is so hot right now that homes are selling within hours of being on the market, and some people are bidding on homes they've never stepped foot in. That makes for a tough buyer’s market—low inventory equals higher prices and higher competition. The Triangle Business Journal cites banking professional David Jones, who identifies seller hesitation as a main factor for inventory shortage.
“Seller hesitation, he says, mean[s] that some home owners have been reluctant to put their house on the market for sale for fear they will not be able to find an adequate replacement home to buy in the region once the sale closes.”
But don’t be overly concerned. Even with the inventory shortage, the Triangle housing market is strong with robust metrics that any similar-sized community would easily envy. And according to the forecast, there are zero clouds in sight, with only blue skies ahead.
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