Triangle home sales increase 32 percent in October

1,631 homes were sold in Wake, Durham, Orange and Johnston

dbracken@newsobserver.comNovember 15, 2012 

The Triangle housing market’s run of strong sales months has continued into the fall, with sales increasing 32 percent in October compared to the same period a year ago.

There were 1,631 homes sold during the month in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show.

Pending sales were up 34 percent, while showings increased 16 percent. The average days on the market for homes that sold in October was 114 – down from 123 days during October 2011.

The average price of the homes that sold in October was $233,800 – up 3 percent from the previous year.

The Triangle has recorded double-digit increases in sales in each of the first three quarters of 2012. The region’s recovery is still being driven by rising sales and a rapidly dwindling supply of homes on the market.

Listed for sale in October were 8,474 homes – down 20 percent from the same period last year and off 35 percent from two years ago. The Triangle now has a five-month supply of homes on the market at the current pace of sales.

“Inventory keeps decreasing, that’s the biggest issue,” said Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes MLS data for area real estate agents. “… I’m kind of amazed that the decreases are still at the 20 percent mark.”

He noted that at one time it was a big deal when the Triangle’s inventory of homes fell below 10,000. Anfindsen is predicting just a few more months of inventory declines before things level out.

Several reasons are cited for the dramatic declines in inventory.

“I think the decrease in new construction over the past few years has really caught up with us,” said Phyllis Brookshire, a senior vice president with Allen Tate Real Estate. She said the lack of new construction, combined with pent-up demand, has combined to eat up much of the existing inventory.

October is typically the beginning of the slow season for the region’s housing market, with fewer people looking to buy. Brookshire said that hasn’t been the case this year for Allen Tate.

“We saw no drop-off in demand, and we’re listing a ton of houses because there’s no competition,” she said.

New home construction also appears to be ramping up as builders prepare for next year’s spring selling season.

The number of new single-family permits issued in Wake County in October was 83 percent higher than during the same period last year, according to data compiled by the Home Builders Association of Raleigh-Wake County. Permits are up 30 percent in Wake through the first 10 months of this year.

Bracken: 919-829-4548

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