Triangle housing prices buck national trend

Posted June 7, 2011 2:52 p.m. EDT
Updated June 7, 2011 6:23 p.m. EDT

— Despite the home prices nationally, real estate experts say, on average, the selling price for homes in the Triangle has increased during the last year.

“We’re in a better place than a majority of the country, and we should be thankful for that,” said Stacey Anfindsen, president-elect of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors

Experts say the big reason why the average selling price in the Triangle has gone up is that more high-end homes are being sold.

Whatever the reason, Chuck Chandler's just glad selling his Apex home was easy. He and his wife asked $405,000 for their home and ended up selling it for $390,000.

“We still have people coming into the Triangle and, as long as you have that, then you have a good chance to sell your home,” Chandler said.

Days after Chandler accepted the offer, another bid came in for even more money. He and his wife say they're moving to a smaller condominium across town.

Nationally, home prices fell from February to March in 18 of the metro areas tracked by the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-city index. And prices in a dozen markets have reached their lowest points since the housing bubble burst in late 2006.

The nationwide index fell for the eighth straight month. Prices have now fallen further since the bubble burst than they did during the Great Depression. It took 19 years for the housing market to regain its losses after the Depression ended.

Prices rose last summer, fueled by a temporary federal home-buying tax credit. But they've plunged since then. Last month's report marked a "double dip in home prices across much of the nation," said David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at Standard & Poor's.

After adjusting for inflation, the home-price index has sunk to a level not seen since 1999.

Many economists think prices nationally will drop at least 5 percent more by year's end. They aren't likely to stop falling until the glut of foreclosures for sale is reduced, employers start hiring in greater force, banks ease lending rules and would-be buyers regain confidence that a home purchase is a wise investment, according to experts.