Tag Archives: Real Estate market Trends

Has the Triangle’s housing market plateaued?

The triangle has enjoyed years of growing home sales and new home construction, but third quarter numbers from a real estate data company provide further evidence that those trends could be slowing.

While the number of new homes that sold from August to October continued to surpass last year, new home construction, also known as home starts, was flat, according to Metrostudy.   “The word of the day is ‘plateau,’” says Amanda Hoyle, Metrostudy’s Raleigh-Durham director.

The report adds to the evidence that the third quarter was a rough stretch for the Triangle housing market. Last month, a report from appraiser Stacey Anfindsen found that the number of homes listed on the market and the number of pending home sales actually dropped in the third quarter.

The reports differ because Metrostudy only looks at new homes, while Anfindsen includes sales of existing homes in his data. But combined, the third quarter numbers paint a picture of a housing market that could be showing the first signs of a slowdown that has taken hold in other parts of the country.

Housing analysts in the Triangle are quick to point out that Hurricane Florence disrupted the homebuying market for more than a week in September, likely contributing to the lower sales volume.

But the rising cost of homes, coupled with standard 30-year mortgage interest rates approaching 5 percent, could be dampening buyer enthusiasm, according to some analysts and homebuilders.

“Our third quarter was quite a bit off,” says Brant Chesson, president of Homes by Dickerson. “Even the buyers we are seeing, they are very reluctant buyers and it takes them a lot to get them over the finish line.” That has translated to buyers being more aggressive in negotiations and, in some cases, people backing out of contracts. That’s not something you usually see.

Rising prices also make it less likely for people to consider moving, because there is no guarantee that a homeowner will be able to cash out of an existing home and get a larger, nicer or better-located home by spending a little more. “There are just not good choices for people to move up,” Chesson says. “I think this pricing pressure has caught up with [the Triangle].”

To make up for potential losses, Hoyle expects homebuilders to start offering more incentives to prospective buyers, such as lower closing costs. Builders may also put more effort toward building at lower prices, but that has been a difficult task in the face of rising land costs and labor prices, builders and analysts say.

But the news isn’t all gloomy. New home closings, excluding resales, were still up nearly 12 percent in the third quarter, and job reports continue to be strong, Hoyle says. And builders continued to be attracted to the Triangle market.

By , Triangle Business Journal

Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

There are many questions homeowners ask themselves during the selling process. “How much will my home sell for?”  “How much should I list my home for?”  “Who should I select as a real estate agent to sell my home?”  “What if the real estate agent overprices my home?”  Last but not least, “Is this a good time to be selling a home?” is also a very common question that real estate agents are asked.

As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons, and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a “spring market rush” every year. There is no doubt that the “spring market” is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Less Competition
One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.

It’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less homes that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but it will also increase the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home.

Serious Buyers Are Out There
Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren’t out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

The fall and winter months are also a great time for a potential buyer to see what a specific neighborhood is like.  Do your neighbors have pumpkins on their front step?  Are there lots of Trick-or-Treaters wandering the neighborhood on Halloween?  Do any of your neighbors have any light displays for the holidays?  There are buyers out there who will look at these types of things when determining whether your home is in the right neighborhood for them or not.

The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell a home during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn’t have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.

Staging For The Holiday Season
Many sellers believe staging a home is the main reason a home sells.  While staging certainly helps sell homes, some buyers have a difficult time envisioning themselves in a home no matter what you do. However, there are some buyers who can easily be “sold” on a home because it is staged.  Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.

Mortgage Rates Are Low
If you’ve read about real estate in the past year, it’s likely you’ve read that the mortgage rates are low.  You also probably read that there is an expectation that the rates will increase very soon. Since mortgage rates are so low right now, buyers are able to afford more expensive homes.  If mortgage rates increase over the fall and winter months while you’re waiting for the spring market, it could cost you thousands of dollars as it could eliminate many buyers from the real estate marketplace!  Less demand for your home will mean less money. Bottom line: take advantage of selling your home while the rates are this low.

Quicker Transactions
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.

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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