Local News

Many Forced To Look Outside Triangle For Affordable Housing

Posted March 8, 2006

— A new study suggests there is enough housing in the Triangle in all price ranges to go around, but some of it is not where many people want to be.

Alicia Hicks is a new wife and mother, and her young family wants a home of its own.

"We're living with my parents right now, and we are trying so hard to find us a house and it's too expensive," she said.

The Hicks are learning that median-income home buyers in the Triangle have to look carefully and strategically. The median income for the Raleigh/Cary area is $39,500 and the average affordable house is $100,000, but the question is where?

"You have to go on the periphery of the Triangle to find them," said Stacey Anfindsen, of the Birch Appraisal Group.

Anfindsen said that means commutes from Johnston, Franklin and Harnett counties and some of eastern Wake County.

"The days of the detached, under $100,000 house in the Raleigh city limits or within Cary, Apex, Wake Forest are pretty much over," Anfindsen said.

"You can find a 1970s townhome, a 1980s home, but it's going to need lots and lots of work, and those first-time homebuyer market, they just don't have the cash funds available to do that," said Realtor Shanta Jackson.

Jackson said that leaves buyers with only one option in the city -- a townhouse.

"It's the American dream and Raleigh is such a great place for people to live. I just wish that everyone could be able to live right inside Raleigh," she said.

At the time the study was conducted a few weeks ago, 72 single-family homes under $96,000 were on the market in Raleigh. Only 14 of them were new. Johnston County had the most inventory in that price range.

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