Raleigh, N.C. — A big turnout at the Southern Ideal Home Show at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh this weekend shows that business is back up in the Triangle housing market, organizers say.
The people driving the Triangle housing market include Bill and Marilyn Lam, who went to the home show seeking inspiration for their dream house.
"This is going to be the last home we'll ever have, so we want to build it the way we want it," Bill Lam said.
Although the economy is challenging, the couple said they felt there was not a better time to take the plunge.
"With interest rates as low as they are, it's almost like free money," Marilyn Lam said.
So far this year, home sales in the Triangle are up more than 18 percent compared to August 2011. In Wake County, sales are up nearly 23 percent.
New building permits are up more than 25 percent, while permits for remodeling and additions are flat compared to 2011.
For those looking to spruce up their homes, the Southern Ideal Home Show offered an opportunity to learn more about the nuts and bolts of remodeling.
"It's good to touch and feel and take a real, good look, talk to contractors," homeowner Andrew Kasab said.
Average home prices around the Triangle have also risen. In Wake County, the number of days that it takes for houses to sell was down nearly 9 percent in August compared to a year earlier.