Triangle home sales rose 8 percent in January compared with the same period a year ago, but homeowners continue to be reluctant to put their homes on the market.
There were 1,536 homes sold in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Durham counties last month, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show.
The number of homes on the market fell 15 percent to 5,137. New home listings rose 15 percent while existing home listings fell 26 percent.
Inventory levels typically dip at the beginning of the year, but this January was particularly slow.
The number of homes listed in January, 2,345, was the lowest number for a January in seven years.
Inventory levels continue to fall even as Triangle home prices rise, and the time it takes to sell a home shortens.
The average price of the homes that sold in January was $265,900, up 9 percent from the same period last year and 21 percent higher than four years ago.
The average days on the market for the homes that sold during the month was 59, down from 68 days during January 2015.
The Triangle market has now recorded 21 consecutive months of year-over-year sales growth.
Despite the strong market, many sellers continue to pay concessions. Concessions were paid on 70 percent of the closings in January. The percentage of all-cash closings decreased from 26 percent to 16 percent.