Category Archives: Real Estate Market Trends

A look at Triangle home prices at 2018 halfway point

Home sale trends continue to deepen throughout the Triangle at the halfway point of the year, with median prices rising 7 percent over last year.

The median price home now tops out at $265,000, up from $248,000 at this time in 2017, according to data tracked by the Triangle Multiple Listing Service.

The price increases come as the home market remains tight across the region. The number of new listings has risen, but only slightly, at just 1.8 percent over this time last year.

Anfindsen’s analysis of only the second quarter found an increase in new listings as well, but the uptick was mostly due to new homes and not the “needed” resale inventory priced under $400,000, according to the TARR report.

Demand for the limited inventory remains strong, with the average number of days a home sat on the market in the Triangle dropping from 37 through June of last year to 31 this year.

The trends aren’t unique to the Triangle. Home prices continue to rise across the country, especially in large metro areas. The trend is being driven by increased demand, fewer homes for sale and more expensive labor and materials costs for new construction.

Nowhere in the Triangle are the price increases as steep as Durham County, where the median sales price has jumped more than 11 percent over last year, rising to from $228,000 to $253,000. Average days on market also remain the lowest in Durham County, where the time it takes a home to sell has sunk from 29 days to 21.

Troubles with low inventory remain in Durham and Wake counties, where the number of new listings is about the same or just below last year. That is not the case on Johnston and Orange counties, where new listings have increased more than 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

The Triangle still ranks favorably in housing affordability compared to its peer cities, but that could be changing in the near future. Data analytics firm CoreLogic continues to rank Raleigh and the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area as having housing markets that aren’t over-valued, but the company’s economists believe that could change in the next five years as prices and interest rates rise. “Between house prices rising and mortgage rates going up, the monthly mortgage payment to buy a house rises faster than the monthly income of local residents,” CoreLogic Chief Economist Frank Nothaft says.

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High-Resale Value Projects You Can Tackle In a Weekend

You live in and love your home, but there might come a time when you have to leave it. And when that time comes, you’ll want to get as much money as you can for your property so you can move onward — and upward.

In order to increase your abode’s value, you might think you have to put in a ton of time, effort and money, but that’s not entirely true. Instead, you can take on weekend projects over time to spruce the place up so when it’s time to sell, you have a completely updated property that’ll end up selling itself.

Ready to get to work? Roll up your sleeves and start on one of the following five weekend projects.

1. Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to smart investment in your home, the kitchen is one of the best places to start. Buyers expect kitchens to be updated. Stone countertops, stainless appliances and sleek flooring all make a space feel modern. Obviously, these changes require a lot of money and, sometimes, a lot of time. That’s why you can tackle it in bits and start first with your cabinets.

Old wooden cabinets with equally dated hardware — think oak doors with shiny brass handles — don’t require a complete gut job. Instead, spend a weekend repainting them a more neutral hue. Finish the project off with new metallic knobs and pulls to complete the modernized look.

2. Make the Eye Go up With Crown Molding

Most homes have roughly the same ceiling heights, but there’s a little trick to make yours look bigger — crown molding. Yes, that white line at the top of your painted walls will draw eyes upward, making the room appear airier than it may very well be.

The project is easy enough to complete, too. You might not be able to install molding throughout your entire home over a single weekend, but you can certainly tackle the project on a room-by-room basis. Again, start with the spaces likely to draw in the most moolah:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living spaces
  • Master bedrooms

These tend to be the make-or-break rooms when it comes to a big purchase. Crown molding adds a bit of detail, a feeling of luxury that’ll certainly add to the bottom line.

3. Boost Curb Appeal — and Backyard Bonuses

No one will come in your home unless the first impression is stunning. Another DIY project should be a landscape overhaul of your front yard. It can be something as simple as adding a path of pavers to your front yard or sprucing up your flowerbeds with colorful blooms. All of this will catch the eye of potential buyers — and fatten up the bottom line of the offers they make.

Another easy fix — your garage door. If it’s street-facing, it’s another area for prospective buyers to look at, and it has a great return on investment.

You don’t have to stop with the front of your home. Especially if you live in a climate that permits lots of outdoor activity, you’ll want a backyard to match. Some may require you rent or buy tools for landscaping and other applications, but imagine the payoff with, for example, the beauty of a functioning fire pit in your backyard. Not only will you be able to enjoy it while you’re still living in your home, but potential buyers will easily be able to envision themselves sitting around a fire.

4. Beautify the Bathrooms

Bathrooms have a big effect on buyers. They expect clean, modern updates, just like in the kitchen. Overhauling your powder room is an easy weekend task that might require small swaps, such as a new modern light fixture over the vanity or a new vanity altogether.

Your full bathrooms will require a bit more attention if you want them to be up to snuff. Again, look in the familiar places:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • Cabinets
  • Hardware
  • Countertops
  • Tile

You don’t have to shell out a ton of money to have someone else re-tile a wall or backsplash in your bathroom, either, if you have the patience to demo and tile the space yourself.

5. Out With the Really Old

Some accents once considered fresh and fashionable now give your home a dated appearance. You probably already know what in your home screams 70s, 80s or 90s. Whatever it is should go in due course.

The list of outdated design elements is truly endless, but some of the biggest offenders are old-school wallpaper, the floor-to-ceiling wood paneling that may or not be actual wood, and, of course, popcorn ceilings. By removing these three offenders alone —your home will snap right back into 2017.

Once people start envisioning themselves living in your home, you won’t have to envision offers pouring in — they’ll start coming thanks to your hard work!

Buyers Flocking to ‘Harshest’ Market Yet

The climate is gradually moving toward spring-like temperatures…but it is burning up in housing, with prices rising 8 percent year-over-year, according to a new realtor.com® report. The climb in March sent the median list price to $280,000—above the prior record $275,000 from July 2017.

Based on data from realtor.com, there were 1.29 million March listings (a decline of 8 percent year-over-year), and homes lasted 63 days on-market (a 7 percent decline year-over-year and a 24 percent decline month-over-month).

“Our latest inventory data tells us buyers are out in full force this spring,” says Javier Vivas, director of Economic Research for realtor.com. “Never in history have there been more eyes on fewer homes than today. At the end of March, we observed price gains that put us on pace for half of the homes listed this summer to be above $300,000. Buyers are not just paying more for the same home; the mix of homes in the market is rapidly changing.”

 According to Vivas, the most affordable homes are the most scarce—and the most sought-after.

“The injection of new listings above $350,000 remains healthy, but inventory between $200,000 and $350,000 remains anemic and non-existent under $200,000,” Vivas says. “This bodes well for buyers in the upper and luxury tiers but paints a darker picture for the entry-level market. If the pattern holds, one in 12 listings nationally will be listed above $1,000,000 this summer, while only one in three will be listed under the $200,000—the sweet spot targeted by nearly half of all buyers. In February, above-$1,000,000 homes made up only one in every 40 home sales.”

 “March housing trends show the inventory depletion we’ve seen over the last two buying seasons is carrying over to this year,” says Vivas. “It’s going to be a languid search for buyers this season as they face the harshest, most competitive buying conditions yet.”

by: Suzanne De Vita, RISMedia