Thank goodness that really boring Super Bowl is over! Now we can focus on the real estate market!
Did you know that the winter hibernation of home buyers essentially ends after the trophy presentation? Year after year, real estate website traffic starts its traditional climb the day after the football season ends. That’s why we always encourage potential buyers to get the jump now so the “For Sale” sign can be in the ground for these potential early birds.
The current real estate market continues to be driven by supply and demand. A low supply of homes (inventory) is limiting sales but driving prices higher. The National Association of Realtors recently shared that December ended with 1.55 million homes for sale in America equating to a 3.7 month supply, far short of the 6-month supply that creates a balanced market where neither buyer nor seller has a negotiation advantage.
Because there were so few available homes, sales in the U.S. declined 10.3% in December compared to December 2017 while the median sales price (the middle of all studied homes) rose 3% from to $253,600.
These national numbers allow economists to debate and make noise on CNBC, but they do little good for us in the Research Triangle. We want as local as we can get!
So I took a look at the Triangle MLS data to provide an idea of what is occurring locally.
Let’s start with Raleigh
This market is tough for buyers. While you might think that 1,258 available homes is a large number, it’s only a 1.7 month supply. And the 654 homes that sold in December were on the market an average of just 23 days far below the national mark of 46 days. That is really fast. The sales figure was off 8.2% over last December while the median price of these sold homes was up 7.2% to $266,950.
While the above statistics compare December 2018 to December 2017, we can also review all of 2018 numbers. There were 10,625 homes sales in Raleigh last year, down 2.2% from 2017, while prices rose 8.4% to a median of $271,000.
These are classic examples of the supply and demand equation impacting prices.
Cary, Apex and Morrisville.
This market is another one of the tightest in the nation with only 904 homes currently available, an extremely low 1.9 month supply. As you would expect, sales were off a whopping 23.8% over last December while the median price rose 7.5% to $384,900. A typical property stayed on the market just 30 days in Cary, Apex and Morrisville.
For the entire 2018, these three communities saw sales drop by 1 percent to 5,449, while the median price rose 3.8% to $367,000.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro is a bit different.
While its 114 December home sales were 3.4% below last December’s number, the median price was down 2.6% to $389,684. Inventory is a bit better with 383 available homes, equating to a 2.6 month supply, and homes actually stayed on the market longer than last December at 57.
For all of 2018, Chapel Hill and Carrboro saw 1.7% more home sales (2,373) and prices rose 3.4% over 2017 to $382,451.
Moving East to Wake Forest
The 135 homes sold in December had a median price of $325,230, up 1.8% over last December while the sales figure dropped 21.5%. Inventory levels are low at a 3.2 month supply and these sold homes stayed on the market for 42 days.
2018 ended with 1,956 homes sold, an increase of 11.7% over 2017 and prices rose 3.1% to a median of $335,000.
Now to Durham County
The county saw 332 December sales, off 23.5% from a year ago, but these homes priced at 10.9% higher to a median of $270,000. The market is another one that is extremely tight with just 653 available homes, a 1.5% supply. Homes sold in just 27 days.
2018 prices rose a robust 10.9% over 2017 to a median of $255,000 while home sales were essentially flat at 5,814.
Johnson County Finished the Tour
This update is a strange one. December home sales were up 27.1% over last December, while prices also rose by 9.5% to a median price of $234,400. All of this occurred despite a slim 2.5 month supply of homes.
There were 5,557 homes sold for all of 2018, an increase of 7.7% over 2017, and prices erupted by 10.6% for a median price of $228,900.
I hope I have shed some light on what is happening in our region. If you have any questions, or want to talk to any of our 350 agents, please reach out to me at email@example.com.