Aug 25, 2022 - News

House hunters get a little relief

Illustration of an upward pointing arrow made from the top of a house
Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Looks like Raleigh house hunting is getting easier. Well, … sort of.

  • Housing inventory here shot up 186% between July 2021 and 2022 — a greater increase than anywhere else in the country, according to the latest RE/MAX National Housing Report.
  • Triangle Multiple Listing Services data has it up 133% across Wake County.

Why it matters: Low inventory has kept home prices high. More options on the market gives buyers much-needed room to breathe.

Data: Redfin; Chart: Erin Davis/Axios Visuals

Yes, and: Nearly a third of homes for sale in Raleigh saw a price drop in July, a marked increase from the 10% that dropped their price during the same month in 2021, per Redfin.

However, Stacey Anfindsen, an appraiser who writes Triangle Area Residential Realty Market Report, said last month's rate of price drops is about the historical norm and that the previous lack of drops was an anomaly.

  • "I don't think there's any doubt that we are in a new period" for the housing market, Anfindsen told Axios.

Zoom out: Across the country, the number of home sales dropped significantly between June and July, triggering a sharp increase in homes for sale.

What they're saying: "The market is rebalancing after favoring sellers for so long," Nick Bailey, RE/MAX president and CEO, said in the report, adding that the market is still a good place for sellers, too.

In fact, sellers are still making more on homes than they were last year. While inventory is improving — especially as a lot of new construction in suburbs like Fuquay-Varina — it is still historically low.

  • "Inventories are up but it's still about 40% below what it was at the peak coming out of the Recession," Anfindsen said. "And our population has grown by 10 to 20% since that time."
  • But "you're also seeing some [new] subdivisions have price drops, which we hadn't seen in 24 months," he added.

What we're watching: Home prices in Raleigh are still pretty high. Last month's median sales price was $448,250 — a 19.1% increase compared to $376,390 the year before.

  • That double-digit percentage increase makes Raleigh the third-hottest market for home sales behind Tampa, Fla. and Fayetteville, Ark.
  • But if inventory keeps increasing, and sellers keep dropping their prices, home prices just might level out.
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