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Local Housing Market Holding Its Own

Posted August 16, 2007

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— New-home construction across the nation continues to crumble, hitting some of its lowest levels in more than a decade.

But local experts say the real estate ceiling is holding somewhat firm in the Triangle. The reason: It never rose to national highs.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the national market for new homes is down nearly 21 percent from last year. But in the Triangle, the decline is much smaller - about half that.

"Last year, we were running at about 100 mph," said Tim Minton, executive vice president with the Homebuilders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. "Now, we are running at 85 mph – but we are still speeding."

North Carolina State University economist Mike Walden credits a growing population following a growing number of education-based jobs in the Triangle.

"We have people wanting to move here because the jobs are here and the jobs are going to be here," Walden said.

In other areas, the population boom that the Triangle is seeing would normally hurt other real estate markets, experts say. But locally, they say, there is plenty of room for growth.

"We didn't have the big price run-ups in houses, because we have a lot more land here," Walden said.

But in Cary, planning director Jeff Ulma says developers are having to move their new projects to the outside walls of the town. There is still enough space, though, to last a while, he said.

"It's a big balancing act," Ulma said. "A lot of our plans look out at least 25 years."

The Triangle could continue to walk in new homes for years to come. On average, home prices continue to rise in the Triangle at about 4 percent.

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  • kruck88 Aug 17, 2007

    Once again they all say they have plenty of room to grow, but where are they going to get the water from??

  • truthhurtssometimes2005 Aug 16, 2007

    Raleigh is a real decent market...I lived there, and the property values are steadily rising...but if you want a REAL underestimated market, check out Tarboro. It's 15 minutes from Rocky Mount, 35 minutes rom Greenville, and only 50-55 from 540...hell, it can take that long to get to RTP from Fuquay on a bad day. The median home price is still under 100K, and for investment properties it's a real good place to look. We have good restaurants, the obligatory Wal-Mart, and a stylish Main Street...along with a lot of character to boot. 5 years from now, it won't be a secret anymore. Not that I want to encourage excessive growth, but there is still time and affordable housing available for anyone smart enough to see the future possibilities.

  • Nancy Aug 16, 2007

    We're further ahead than most:

    The strongest price increase in the South was in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area of Texas, at $127,700, up 11.8 percent from a year ago, followed by the Cumberland area of Maryland and West Virginia, with a 9.3 percent gain to $109,300, and Raleigh-Cary, N.C., at $225,100, up 8.4 percent.

    source:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20070815/pl_usnw/second_quarter_metro_home_prices_improving_but_sales_down_in_most_states