Triangle home sales picked up in the second quarter, surging 22 percent in June alone, as buyers jockeyed for a dwindling supply of listings.
There were 8,433 homes sold in Durham, Johnston, Orange and Wake counties during the second quarter, up 10 percent from the same period a year ago, Triangle Multiple Listing Services data show.
“Usually more people are thinking about the beach than real estate this time of year, but people are still out there looking and the good stuff is going quick,” said Frank DeRonja, owner of Frank DeRonja Real Estate in Raleigh.
The large jump in closings in the second quarter is likely the result of pent-up demand that resulted from sales getting off to a slow start earlier this year, in large part because of inclement weather, said Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes MLS data.
He noted that if this pace keeps up the region’s inventory shortage will reach acute levels.
“If this is the same stuff in the third quarter we’re going to have a problem,” Anfindsen said.
The number of homes on the market declined 14 percent in June to 6,838. Existing home listings fell 18 percent, and have now declined 12 straight months when compared the same period a year ago.
DeRonja said limited inventory is holding back sales figures, as he has a number of clients who have repeatedly lost out on homes that received multiple offers.
The combination of limited supply and surging demand is leading many homes to sell quickly. The average days on the market of the homes that sold in the second quarter was 52 days, down from 67 days during the same period in 2014.
Sixty-four percent of the existing homes that sold during the quarter did so within 30 days. That was up from 48 percent in the first quarter of this year.
Home prices are also rising. The average price of the homes that sold in the second quarter was $273,600, up 6 percent from the same period a year ago.
DeRonja said for the most part prices appear to have recovered, which is making it all the more perplexing that more people haven’t decided to put their homes on the market.
“Maybe folks are not wanting to give up their interest rate, you’ve got all these different theories,” he said. “I’m hoping we get a little bit more balance because sometimes it’s a lot of work and your buyers end up being disappointed not getting a house.”
One thing that isn’t going away despite the hot market is the payment of financial concessions by sellers.
Financial concessions, such as paying a buyer’s closing costs, were paid on 65 percent of all the existing homes that sold in the second quarter, up from 48 percent during the same period last year.
Anfindsen said the continuing payment of concessions remains one of the most baffling aspects of the local housing recovery.
“With a two-month supply of housing, it’s economically illogical that somebody should have to incentivize someone to buy something when there’s a shortage of something,” he said.
While some properties are selling at or above their list price, most other transactions involve some negotiation between the buyer and seller, DeRonja said. Many buyers, particularly those targeting homes under $200,000, may need several thousand dollars in concessions in order to afford the home.
“Every dollar still makes a difference for whether or not a buyer can close,” DeRonja said. “ ... I think people still want to hold on to their cash as well.”