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Local Home Sellers Look to Leasing

Renting and leasing are growing options on higher-end homes in the Triangle area, and with the housing market slowing, it's an alternative that works for sellers and buyers.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Not only are foreclosures up in the Triangle area, the number of houses for sale is also on the rise – and so is the number for which owners will sign a lease.

For example, in January 2007, there were about 10,700 homes for sale in Wake, Durham, Orange and Johnston counties.

This year, that number is up to more than 13,400.

With more homes on the market than people to buy them, rentals are growing in higher-end neighborhoods.

Rick Abdella, a real estate agent with Keller Williams Realty, says homeowners anxious to sell are turning to rent their properties so they don't lose money.

For example, houses worth up to nearly $1 million are going for about $5,000 a month in rent.

Investment developer Scott Snyder, with Raleigh Investment Real Estate, says it's a good market to buy rental homes, but he believes higher-end rentals are not moneymakers.

He says it's difficult to find people willing to pay the high prices.

"We find that people are going to be more likely to want to rent if the home is in the mid-$100,000 range," Snyder said.

Abdella says homes are still selling for those who can wait. But he says the average wait for sellers is 50 percent longer than it was at this time last year.

"If a home was on the market for about 30 days last year, then you can expect at least 45 to 60 days this year," Abdella said.


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