Local News

In Booming New Home Market, Existing Homes Holding Up

Posted July 6, 1998

— We've all heard about the Triangle's explosive growth and the commericial and home building boom, but what about the existing home market? Are older homes keeping pace with the constuction of all the new ones?

The Triangle is not a typical real estate market from any perspective. The area ranks in the top 10 markets nationally in terms of real estate movement, so all those "sold" signs in front of homes are truly signs of the times.

Typically in a market when there is a lot of building going on, sales of existing homes tend to drop. Not in the Triangle, though. Here, in almost any given neighborhood, there are homes for sale ... and they're selling.

One area realtor says the number of home sales this year is already exceeding that of last year, and that last year was an extremely good year for the market. The average price in Wake County right now for a single-family home is $174,000. That, says realtors, makes this a good time to sell.

"Right now our new home industry is doing the best it can to supply the demand," says Board of Realtors President Parker Creech. "What we're seeing temporarily is somewhat of a low supply of ready-to-move-in new homes, so the inventory of the finished new home is dropping, but that's temporary."

Annie Carnefix is one face in the crowd of Triangle newcomers desperately searching for a home. There is no shortage of for sale signs out there, but Annie has learned -- the hard way -- that this is a better place to sell than buy.

"Arizona is very inexpensive, averaging $75 a square-foot," says Carnefix. "Out here I'm finding $150 or more per square-foot for some of the more desirable neighborhoods, so it was a little bet of sticker shock, yes."

Creech explained that, once builders catch up with demand for new housing, the demand for existing homes could slow.

All in all, according to the experts, it is still a seller's market in the Triangle, but they expect the apartment market to 'soften', or slow down.

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