Sellers’ Market: Triangle home sales up 27 percent in November

Much to the surprise of the Triangle housing market, home sales in November were up nearly 27 percent over last year – buoyed in part, some say, by both optimism for the U.S. economy going into 2017 and fear that interest rates will be rising.

That second part came true Thursday when the Federal Reserve voted to raise its benchmark short-term interest rate for the first time in a year, which will in turn likely increase interest rates for home mortgages.

In November, the Triangle market recorded 2,721 home sales across the 16-county region of Triangle Multiple Listing Service. That number was down 8 percent from October’s sales, but its typical for sales to slow in November, December and January.

But the 26.7 percent increase in November 2016 sales over November the year prior was the biggest monthly year-over-year increase since summer 2013 when the Triangle housing market was officially just heading into strong recovery mode from the 2008 recession.

Lewis Grubbs, senior vice president at Coldwell Banker Advantage in Raleigh, says they started to see a shortage of inventory in the fourth quarter last year, but while inventory was tight in certain price points, they were still selling homes.  “I have sat through several forums that have dissected the election results from both sides of the isle and do believe that the November numbers may reflect a positive change in consumer confidence,” he says. “People have a sense that the economy will strengthen and provide more and better jobs. This may be the result of what is seen as potential regulatory reforms being more business and industry ‘friendly.’”

The region’s average days on market also dropped to 45 days from 59 days the year prior, reflecting, Grubbs says, the willingness of buyers to make decisions faster. “And perhaps pay more, for fear of losing the home to a competitive offer,” he says. “Combine these things with the rumblings of the Fed increasing the interest rate before year end, has produced good results for November sales.”

Year-to-date home sales for the Triangle were up 10.6 percent, and the average sales price is up 5.5 percent. The Triangle market had about 2.7 months supply of inventory available at the end of November.

by: Amanda Hoyle, Triangle Business Journal

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