Builders see Triangle housing market turning a corner

Posted October 15, 2012 7:09 p.m. EDT
Updated October 16, 2012 5:18 a.m. EDT

— Realtors are selling more homes this year than last across the Triangle, and that is good news for buyers, sellers and the overall economy.

Builder Patrick Rose said he sees a huge change just in the past six months in the Cary community of Cameron Pond. New homes that went unsold for as long as a year are now moving more quickly.  

"In the last, especially three to four months, those homes have all sold," he said. "We've seen interest in pre-sale opportunities with folks coming in, looking at lots, wanting to custom-build their own homes."

Rose, who works for John Weiland Homes, said even foot traffic has increased. "You see more people in the neighborhoods, more people in the sales centers, people stopping and asking questions," he said.

Those buyers are able to capitalize on interest rates at historic lows and prices that have dropped 10 to 20 percent from the peak of the housing market.

"I would definitely say we've turned a corner, but again you have to be cautiously optimistic," Rose said.

Stacey Anfindsen, a residential market analyst, sees many positives. Pending sales are up, closings are up and days on the market are down, leading to a reduction in the available inventory, or fewer people waiting to sell their home. "All of those are really, really positive signs for the market," he said.

Anfindsen noted that the recession, which all but halted building in the Triangle, has had an impact on inventory, too.

"New construction is probably down 50 or 60 percent from where it was in 2006 and 2007," he said. Builders bought land in 2005, 2006 or 2007 and held it until the tide turned and are now beginning to develop those properties.

"It's been a buyer's market since 2007," Anfindsen said. "It's trending towards a seller's market."