The Triangle’s gradual recovery from the depths of the national housing bust continues. Make no mistake – this is no boom. Sales figures aren’t what they were, and real estate values remain well below their peak.
The plus side of that is that lower prices are a boon for those potential buyers able to secure mortgages, as are the low interest rates on housing loans. Those factors, plus an improving economy, are turning things around.
As reported Friday, October sales in Wake, Durham, Orange and Johnston counties were up 32 percent over 2011. Pending sales increased sharply, the inventory of unsold houses fell, and so did the average time houses remained on the market.
Sale prices in October were up 3 percent over a year ago (to an average of $233,800). That’s evidence of a smaller supply of houses for sale, in part because so few new ones have been built since 2008. With buyers signaling that they’re coming back, new construction shows signs of picking up. Through October, building permits are up 30 percent in Wake County over last year – and up 83 percent in October itself.
The Triangle knows all too well that booming growth can get out of hand, but we’re still a long way from that. It will be good to finally close the door on the housing bust, which caused so much grief for so many.