Local News

Triangle Housing Market Continues To Grow In Sales, Value

Posted October 20, 2006 7:24 a.m. EDT

— Looking to sell your home? The housing market continues to be a good one across the Triangle.

Sales of existing homes in September increased 4 percent across the Research Triangle metro area, and housing prices climbed 3 percent compared with the same month in 2005, according to new data from the North Carolina Association of Realtors.

Statewide, existing home sales were up 5 percent, to 108,373, and prices increased 2 percent, to $214,309, when compared with the first nine months of 2005. Sales did drop 4 percent when compared with September of 2005.

Nationally, sales are off more than 12 percent through Aug. 30, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“We’re bucking the national trend in a lot of ways,” said Michael Walden, an economics professor at North Carolina State University.

Declining interest rates and the fact that North Carolina is a “growth state” with an increasing population are among the factors helping increase sales, Walden said.

“Interest rates are still affordable when they are under 8 percent,” Walden said, “and we’re under 6 percent.”

Walden also noted that the state had avoided a “housing bubble” in which market speculation would drive prices to unsustainable levels. A more moderate increase in prices, thus avoiding a bubble, “is really helping us now,” he added.

Across the Triangle, the 3,098 homes were sold in September for an average price of $229,687, the N.C. Association of Realtors said.

Other markets also reported increases, including Rocky Mount (124 homes sold, up 10 percent), Wilson (108 sold, up 33 percent), and Fayetteville (414, up 2 percent).

Sales dropped 19 percent in Pinehurst, to 130, and 6 percent in Goldsboro, to 104.

“More than anything else, the numbers for September indicate that the market is at a more sustainable pace,” said Tim Kent, executive vice president of the N.C. Realtors Association, in a statement. “In North Carolina, in particular, we live in a climate where we have strong job markets in the urban areas and offer great value in our coastal and mountain regions. We are blessed with a healthy supply of housing stock.”