Home prices in Durham, Wake Counties soar to new highs – no slowdown in sight

Home prices in Durham, Wake Counties soar to new highs – no slowdown in sight

RALEIGH – The Triangle real estate markets remain hot, particularly in Durham and Wake Counties, new data from the Triangle Multiple Listing Service (TMLS) shows. For sellers, that’s good – more equity. For buyers – the challenge is becoming even stronger. And don’t expect a fall price drop, either.

Despite what historic real estate market data may suggest about a slowdown or a potential reduction of price premium paid for residential property during the winter months, don’t expect any seasonal variance to dramatically alter the real estate market, said Jim Allen, real estate broker and broker-in-charge of the Jim Allen Group, in an interview with WRAL TechWire.

“There are agents talking about seasonal variance,” said Allen.  “They’re still living in pre-COVID land, it’s not going to happen.”

The data released by TMLS shows that in Wake County, the average sale price of a property listed on the open market was 105.1% of its list price.  In Durham, that mark for the average home was 104.7%.

Along with an uptick in that price-to-sale ratio measure, the median sale price increased from the prior month, and the median sale price of property sold in Wake County and in Durham County hit an annual high, the data showed.

The median sale price in Durham County rose from $352,000 in August, and surpassed the year’s prior mark of $355,000 in July, all the way to $369,400.  Compared to the median sale price in September 2020, which was $295,963, the increase was 24.8%.  The average Durham County home listed on TMLS went under contract in nine days, and inventory, a measure of availability, was 0.8 months of supply.

In Wake County, the median sale price rose from $400,000 in August to $410,000 in September, surpassing the the year’s prior high mark of $407,319 median sale price that was recorded in July.  Compared to the median sale price in September 2020, $339,900, the increase was 20.6%.  The average Wake County home listed on TMLS went under contract in eight days, and the inventory was measured at 0.7 months of supply.

Another measure of market activity is tracked by the Wake County Register of Deeds, which releases a monthly analysis of all real property sold in the prior month based on deed records.

That analysis found that the median sale price of a parcel of real estate in Wake County was $390,000 in September 2021, a $25,000 increase from the median sale price in August 2021, and $61,000 higher from the median sale price in January 2021.  It also surpassed the prior 2021 high mark of $384,000, recorded in July 2021.

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The reason, said Allen, is due to the incredibly low inventory of existing homes and of new construction homes available, or that could become available in the next few months, he noted, sharing the latest data available through the TMLS database, through the morning of October 13 with WRAL TechWire.

“The total number of listings in MLS is 2,685 as of this morning,” said Allen.  “With our current population in today’s number, that needs to be nearly 19,000 for it to be a balanced market, neither a seller’s market nor a buyer’s market.”

That’s across the Triangle.  The numbers are even more striking, said Allen, when considering availability in Wake County.

“In Wake County, there are only 962 active listings, and in Raleigh, and this is new construction and resale, is 499,” said Allen.  For the market to be considered at equilibrium, where buyers and sellers have equal negotiating position, said Allen, “this number would need to be in the 13,000-14,000 range, and it’s less than 1,000.”

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Even with national trends, or even should mortgage rates tick up, the Triangle markets are not likely to reverse, said Allen.  If anything, he noted, they’ll continue to outpace national trends with regard to price appreciation, because there are still dozens of people moving to the region each day.

That’s putting pressure on existing housing, at a time when homeowners in the Triangle remain reluctant to put their home up for sale, said Allen.  The reduction in inventory is yielding a market unlike any that Allen has witnessed in the past 40 years, he said.

“It is the most extreme sellers market I’ve ever witnessed,” said Allen.  “Because buyers really don’t have options.”

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Kassie Hoffman
Kassie pens down all the news from the world of politics on ANH.