Local News

Builders say housing no longer a 'buyer's market'

Posted October 5, 2012

— Home-building was one of the industries that got hammered during the recession, and it was one of the hardest-hit sectors in the Triangle.

But builders are saying the industry is starting to bounce back, a sign that the economy is slowly – but surely – recovering.

“It was real tough,” said Rich Van Tassel of Royal Oaks Building Group. “Peak to trough, 65 percent of the local market went away."

Van Tassel's company builds homes in the Triangle and Fayetteville. His workforce was nearly cut in half, from 26 employees in 2006 to a low of 14.

home builders Improving economy boosts home builders

“It was horrible, and you really feel for the folks,” he said. “But we didn’t do it to them. The market did it to the collective us.”

With a solid foundation, Van Tassel streamlined the operation and has since rebuilt the business. He now has 31 salaried workers. Business, he says, is as strong as it's ever been.

He disagrees with those who say it's still a buyer’s market. He pointed to a house he’s building in Apex as an example.

“When we started in here, it was going for $350,000,” he said. “Now it’s going for about $380,000. So, we’ve had almost 10 percent appreciation in the two years we’ve been out here.”

Van Tassel said he just hopes the old adage continues to hold true: “If you build it, they will come.”

“It’s building the right things in the right location for the right price,” he said.


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  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Oct 15, 2012

    Wiser_now, I agree. We want to sell our Apex home in the next year or two. This story doesn't address the existing home market. I'm hopeful that the market is turning the corner, but no proof yet...

  • Wiser_now Oct 11, 2012

    Let me know when there is an uptick in the selling of existing homes. It's my opinion that the building of too many new homes gets in the way of people trying to sell the houses they are in.

  • btneast Oct 8, 2012

    So, it has taken him 2 years to build this house?

    .....NO, he's been building in that neighborhood for two years.

  • WooHoo2You Oct 5, 2012

    So, it has taken him 2 years to build this house? If it is not a buyer's market, then why are there so many houses going for UNDER what they are "worth"??- computer trainer

    What you owe and the actual value are VERY different animals. "Worth" is a highly subjective term that no one can agree on.

  • itom68 Oct 5, 2012

    My house is worth 30,000 less than what I bought it for 7 years ago

    I'm stuck

  • whatelseisnew Oct 5, 2012

    "Where are the new $100,000.00 dollar houses for the working folks?"

    Really, so any house above 100,00 is purchased by who exactly? People on welfare? Sorry but the inflated land values alone is what has driven up costs of houses. The land on which my house sits is in theory valued for more than I paid for the property and the house when I originally bought it. Unlike you, I did not EXPECT someone to PROVIDE me with a place I could afford. I positioned MYSELF to be able to buy what I have, you might try the same.

  • Alexia.1 Oct 5, 2012

    rachel, are you serious? I doubt you could find a new home for $100K 20 years ago. Maybe, but I definitely cannot see it today. And very few in America can pay cash right out of their pocket for a new house. That's why we have mortgages. A $100K loan today at 3.5% APR would be $449/mo over 30 years. That's cheaper than most apartments. Surely, you'd expect a good home to be more expensive than an apartment and certainly more than $450/mo! A $200K house loan would cost $898/mo, and $300K would be $1347/mo.

    People buy what they can afford, but it's like everything else... not everyone can buy a BMW, either.

  • computer trainer Oct 5, 2012

    So, it has taken him 2 years to build this house? If it is not a buyer's market, then why are there so many houses going for UNDER what they are "worth"??

  • rachel Oct 5, 2012

    notice no one is jumping on the wagon to actually build houses the majority of people can afford- I am real happy your $350,000.00 house is now worth $380,000.00. Where are the new $100,000.00 dollar houses for the working folks?