Triangle home sales, prices fall

Posted December 15, 2008 2:27 p.m. EST
Updated December 15, 2008 7:18 p.m. EST

— Triangle home sales and the value of the properties declined in November, but the real estate inventory did decline a bit, according to the latest data from the Triangle Multiple Listing Service.

The regional statistics show that as the nation’s housing crisis continues, the average selling price for new and existing prices fell $23,686 from October to $226,528 in November.
In October, the average selling price was $250,211, which represented a jump of more than $18,000 from September.

How much has the housing crisis affected Triangle real estate values? The $226,528 average price is 0.4 percent, or $818 less, than in November 2006.

Homes, also, were listed on the market for an average of 100 days before selling – the highest average over the past two years and an increase of nine days from October.

The number of homes sold fell from 1,487 in October to 1,186 – a sharp drop from a year earlier, when 2,169 properties were sold.

Although the numbers are grim, local real estate agent Stuart Deibel said they don't represent all homes on the market in the Triangle.

"The location has a great deal to do with those numbers," Deibel said. "Houses in good neighborhoods with good schools that are priced right are selling and maintaining their value."

Deibel said the numbers could be a good buying market for those with good credit and those who have money to put down.

What could have an impact on the numbers is foreclosures, which could surge again in 2009, according to the North Carolina Banking Commission.

Among other numbers from the latest data: The number of homes listed declined to 18,862 from 19,344 the previous month. In November 2007, inventory stood at 18,123.

Based on sales, the Triangle MLS estimates that the inventory of unsold homes climbed to 15.3 months last month from 12.6 months in October. In November of 2007, demand and available listings limited inventory to 9.2 months.