Orange County Housing Market Experienced a Decrease in Sales

Orange was the only one of the four counties that experienced a decrease in closed sales and an increase in both the months of housing supply and the average days on the market of the homes that sold.

The housing market in Orange County continues to struggle compared with other Triangle counties. Orange was the only one of the four counties that experienced a decrease in closed sales and an increase in both the months of housing supply and the average days on the market of the homes that sold.

Closings decreased 13 percent while the supply of homes on the market rose from 3 to 5 months. The average days on the market of the homes that sold rose from 98 days to 115.

A number of factors contribute to the struggles in Orange County, said Lynn Hayes, owner of Lynn Hayes Properties in Carrboro.

The biggest is that places like Chapel Hill and Carrboro now face a lot more competition from the housing markets in places such as Durham and Cary.

“A lot of the younger people are choosing to live in Durham now,” Hayes said. “Durham has so much going on; the whole revitalization of the downtown has really drawn the younger people over there.”

Meanwhile, the opening of the Triangle Expressway extension of Interstate 540 in western Wake has made the commute from Cary to Research Triangle Park much more appealing to buyers.

“The prices in Chapel Hill are so much higher than Cary, you can get so much more house for your money,” Hayes said. “And if you’re coming to work at RTP, then Cary is just as viable an option in terms of commuter time.”

The housing stock in Orange County is also much older than in other places in the Triangle. The average year built of the Orange County homes now listed in MLS is 1987, compared with 2004 in Wake Forest, 2000 in Chatham County and 2000 in northwest Wake County.

“There are still people who want a college town and still want what Chapel Hill and Carrboro has to offer,” Hayes said. “But we have a lot more competition than we did.”

By David Bracken August 12, 2014


FOR Home BUYERS is a member of the TMLS and can show you any home listed in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Triangle area of North Carolina. This is one of the strongest home markets in the USA. Our Exclusive Buyer Only Realtors are experiencing the market tightening and a lack of homes for sale on the market. When the market is tight, it is important for you, as a home buyer, to have the best possible representation so that you will be honestly informed and have someone to negotiate who is totally working for you.

Triangle Multiple Listing’s Monthly Indicators for July 2014

Buoyed by stable and continuously lower interest rates, housing affordability is still historically high yet below its all-time peak.

FOR HomeBUYERS, an Exclusive Buyer Only Real Estate Agency, is providing this article from the Triangle Multiple Listing Service that serves 16 counties around the Triangle North Carolina region. FOR HomeBUYERS represents only buyers throughout the 16 county TMLS area and can show you any home listed with TMLS.

Although low supply and tight credit standards are still hurdles to recovery, prices continue to rise in most local areas. Job growth has strengthened lately, but wage growth has not kept pace with the price gains we have seen. Buoyed by stable and continuously lower interest rates, affordability is still historically high yet below its all-time peak. Rising inventory levels will lead to more choices for qualified buyers, but as the summer reaches toward fall, the prospect of more homes coming on the market begins to wane.
New Listings in the Triangle region increased 6.9 percent to 3,820. Pending Sales were up 5.9 percent to 3,049. Inventory levels fell 0.8 percent to 14,372 units.

Prices forged onward. The Median Sales Price increased 3.1 percent to $210,000. Days on Market was down 5.3 percent to 89 days. Absorption rates improved as Months Supply of Inventory was down 8.9 percent to 5.7 months.

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported that GDP grew at a 4.0 percent annual rate in the second quarter and that the first quarter was less bad than previously thought. Consumer spending in the first quarter rose 2.5 percent, which is encouragingly in tandem with savings rates. Increased consumer spending means more demand for goods and labor; increased savings rates means more resources for downpayments. With rates still low, rents still rising and private job growth accelerating, it’s becoming more and more difficult to side with the housing perma-bears.

Triangle Multiple Listing Service Releases June 2013 Real Estate Figures

Real Estate in the NC Triangle Showing Continued Market Strength

FOR Home BUYERS is a member of the TMLS and can show you any home listed in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Triangle area of North Carolina. This is one of the strongest home markets in the USA. Our Exclusive Buyer Only Realtors are experiencing the market tightening and a lack of homes for sale on the market. When the market is tight, it is important for you, as a home buyer, to have the best possible representation so that you will be honestly informed and have someone to negotiate who is totally working for you.

Raleigh, NC: The Triangle Multiple Listing Service (TMLS) reports the following information pertaining to the housing industry in the greater Triangle region during June, 2013. The data shown reflects information on properties located in the 16 counties of the greater Triangle Region. The percentage changes are comparisons with the prior year’s month unless otherwise noted.

Closed sales continue on an extended positive trend through June with Closed Sales up 14.9 percent over June of 2012. June was the second strongest month in closed sales with 3,062 transactions. Only May, 2013 with 3,237 transactions, was higher. Pending sales (homes under contract, but not yet closed) also exceeded last June by over 26 percent.

New Listings in the Triangle region increased over 12 percent to 3852 units for June. Total inventory levels shrank by 10.2 percent in June to 14,294 units from 15,917 units in June of 2012. The months supply of available inventory shrank by 28.3 percent leaving only a 6.4 months supply. Housing prices continued to improve in June with Median Sales Price up 1.6 percent to $202,445 and Average Sales Price is up 2.7 percent to $245,901. Days on Market decreased 16.5 percent to 95 days compared to June 2012.

The Housing Affordability Index was at 175, which is 7 percent lower than last year. This index measures housing affordability for the region. An index of 120 means the median household income was 120% of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates.

Rachel Wiest, Vice President of Operations, Triangle MLS, Inc. said, “We are happy to see the housing market continue to be strong.”

“With the stronger market, some previously frustrated sellers may return to the market place to help replenish neighborhoods with new listings,” Wiest concluded.

Raleigh is 7th Best City for Recent College Graduates

Raleigh, which seems to earn a new accolade every few days, is the seventh-best city for recent college graduates.

Using factors such as the job market, average income, affordability and percentage of young people, NerdWallet rated major cities in the U.S. and published a list of the 10 sites most appealing to new college grads.

Raleigh’s population is highly educated, with 31.9% of residents 25 and over holding a Bachelor’s degree—the third highest proportion of the nation’s 50 largest cities. Raleigh’s major industries include manufacturing, aerospace, biotechnology and green energy. Two of the top employers in the area are SAS Institute, Inc., which is headquartered in the region, and North Carolina State University.

This article from ranks Raleigh as 7th among this outstanding list of cities for college graduates. It shows the strength of the job market in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Triangle area of North Carolina. The improved job market has also improved the housing market and has created an increased demand. Sellers and builders had been holding off listing and building homes for many months, with the results being a shortage of inventory of homes for sale. The housing market is heating up, which makes this an ideal time to get into the market for a home before prices increase due to excess demand.

The top 10 cities and median incomes for recent graduates is as follows:

  1. Washington, D.C. – $60,104
  2. Seattle, Wash. – $50,578
  3. Minneapolis, Minn. – $46,525
  4. San Francisco, Calif. – $61,426
  5. Austin, Texas – $45,023
  6. Atlanta, Ga. – $50,862
  7. Raleigh, N.C. – $45,495
  8. Boston, Mass. – $52,119
  9. Denver, Colo. – $48,133
  10. Columbus, Ohio – $44,392

by Sreekar Jasthi of

Top 6 Reasons People Move to the Raleigh, NC Area

Beyond the city’s natural beauty and convenient location, here are six more reasons to move to the Raleigh area

The following article in highlights many of the reasons those of us who live in the Triangle Area of NC which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Cary, Wake Forest, Apex and many more small communities, love this area and would not want to live anywhere else. One other reason not mentioned in this article is for the world renowned Duke and Chapel Hill Medical Centers.

This article does show the wonderful quality of life experienced by the families and the professionals who relocate to the Triangle and Raleigh, North Carolina area.

Raleigh, N.C.’s bustling state capital is known to residents as the “City of Oaks,” a name that becomes quickly apparent when you visit downtown. Oak trees line the streets and sidewalks, offering pleasant shady spots for window shopping, coffee drinking and patio dining. Traveling east of Raleigh, you’ll find North Carolina’s beautiful coastal regions, and traveling west, you’ll find the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Beyond the city’s natural beauty and convenient location, here are six more reasons to move to the Raleigh area.

Urban Living, Southern Flair: Folks often move to Raleigh looking for urban living with a Southern touch. The neighborhoods surrounding downtown Raleigh make it easy for residents to bike to the local farmers market, walk to a new restaurant or bar, or visit the State Capitol Building. With apartments, condos and many other housing options, the Glenwood South neighborhood is a good fit if you want all that downtown offers right at your doorstep.

Delicious Food: When it comes to good food, the Raleigh region offers many options. For example, a favorite in the Boylan Heights neighborhood is The Irregardless Cafe, a delightfully small, environmentally friendly cafe catering to diverse dietary preferences, including those who are vegan or vegetarian. It’s an excellent choice for treating someone special to an evening of exquisite food – from the drinks and meal to dessert.

First Friday: Remember to mark your calendars for the First Friday Gallery Walk in downtown Raleigh. On the first Friday of every month, local galleries, studios and museums keep their doors open late. Galleries display new artworks, artists talk about their latest creations, and you can find handcrafted gifts for family and friends.

Great Neighboring Towns: When it comes to where you live, good neighbors make a big difference. Raleigh has two neighboring cities, Durham and Chapel Hill, and they are both listed among Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live. In fact, Durham is even ranked among the top five best places to live.

Don’t-Miss Restaurant: Speaking of Durham, it’s worth a drive if for nothing else but to visit Piedmont, a restaurant that’s cozy and small, but big on recommendations for a true taste of North Carolina flavor. Local farm-grown ingredients are a Piedmont specialty, and its ever-changing seasonal menu means there’s always something new and delicious to try.

Educational Opportunities: Many folks move to the Raleigh region for educational opportunities. North Carolina State University is the largest four-year university in the state, and it is nationally renowned for programs in engineering, biology and agriculture. Duke University is located in Durham, and it is a prestigious private research institution known for its medical school and medical center. And of course, there’s the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, best known for its programs in business, government, law and public health.

Article by: Eric Carter of

Standard Pacific kicks off new Morrisville neighborhood

Standard Pacific Homes last weekend kicked off sales at its newest community in Morrisville, Birkshires at Town Hall Commons.

Located at the intersection of McCrimmon Parkway and Town Hall Circle, Standard Pacific (NYSE: SPF) is planning lots for 123 single family homes that will be priced from the mid-$200,000s.

Standard Pacific has in the past year paid $1.8 million for the first two phases of construction at Town Hall Commons, according to Wake County records.

The two-story homes will range from about 1,740 to 3,051 square feet and will have options for as many as four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Four home designs are being offered in the neighborhood, says Troy George, Raleigh president for Standard Pacific Homes.

Amanda Jones Hoyle covers commercial and residential real estate for Triangle Business Journal.

FOR HomeBUYERS’ Agents have helped many of our buyer clients purchase Standard Pacific Homes. As a large national production builder, Standard Pacific is one of the best. Their floor plans are very good and the quality of construction is above the norm for a production builder. They have a very nice selection of options as well.

When purchasing a New Construction Home, if you work directly with the onsite agent you, need to be aware that they are representing the Builder and not you. In order to protect your best interest and help you through the complicated process of building a home from the ground up call 919-878-1110 and speak with a FOR HomeBUYERS’ Exclusive Buyer Representative who can walk you through the building process and help you avoid the pitfalls you may encounter. FOR HomeBUYERS has many years of experience representing Buyers working with Builders.

Need a job? Raleigh’s one of the top 15 cities for job seekers, study says

Raleigh 11th best city in US to find a job

Once again Raleigh graces a top list. This time the City of Oaks nabs the 11th spot on the list of best U.S. cities in which to find a job, according to a new study by WalletHub.

WalletHub, a personal finance website, rated the nation’s 60 largest markets, based on more than a dozen factors, including job openings per capita, median starting salary and average annual income.

Texas was well represented in the top 10. Fort Worth topped the list and its Lone Star State neighbors Arlington (No. 4) and Dallas (No. 5), as well as Austin (No. 6) and Houston (No. 10) also ranked high.

Charlotte, at No. 18, is the only other North Carolina city on the list.

Delving a bit further into the methodology of the ranking, WalletHub considered these three major factors: The ease of finding a job, salary & benefits and cost of living.

Those three categories were further segmented into other metrics, including the number of job openings, employment growth, the unemployment rate trend and industry variety.

“Societal mobility stands to be a major asset for job seekers as the economy improves,” WalletHub says of the study results.

Hiring is expected to increase by 27 percent this year, according to the National Association for Business Economics.

This article supports one of the strongest reasons to consider relocating to Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and the Triangle region of North Carolina. The job opportunities are abundant and the housing market is very affordable. To obtain further relocation information and details about the housing market, contact FOR HomeBUYERS Exclusive Buyer’s Agency. You will receive unbiased housing information about the various areas of Wake County, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill because we have no listings to bias the information we provide. As Exclusive Buyer’s Agents we have access to every home on the market through MLS and will keep only YOUR best interests in mind. Call 919-878-1110 or email to assist you with relocation and housing information.

Top Home Buying Myths: Setting the Record Straight

It’s very important that you’re well informed of what is fact and what is fiction.

Whether you’re a real estate professional or first-time home buyer, the home buying process and real estate transactions can be stressful. There tends to be some common misconceptions in this process, so it’s very important that you’re well informed of what is fact and what is fiction. We’re here to dispel the home buying myths that could impact your decisions.

Myth #1: You don’t need a REALTOR®.

Before you bravely take on one of the biggest purchases or sales of your life, remember this: it’s not as easy as it looks. REALTORS® know all the ins and outs of the local area as well as the market in which you’re looking to buy or sell. Picking up the phone and calling a REALTOR® may be one of the best decisions you’ll make.

Consider interviewing an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, as well as, one of the buyer’s agents working for a listing company. You may risk a conflict of interest in the latter situation.

Myth #2: The bigger the downpayment, the better off you’ll be.

Buyers’ immediate reflex is to put as much cash down as they can when buying a new home because they’ll borrow less, lower the monthly mortgage payments, and won’t need to buy mortgage insurance. However, putting 20% down is not a requirement and it’s not for everyone.

Thanks to Federal Housing Administration Loans (FHA Loans), you can put as little as 3.5% down. With this method, you’ll potentially have a lower interest rate, giving you more flexibility. Your money is not all tied up in your house like in a traditional down payment that can leave you with little or no extra cash to spend on home care, improvements, or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Talking with a lender very early in the home buying process will help you to fully understand what the best avenue is for you. There are many loan programs out there and it is important that you learn about what is best for you.

Myth #3: Appraisers set the value of a home.

The role of the appraiser is to produce a credible opinion of value that reflects the current market. Appraisers are not responsible for setting the value of the home and they also do not confirm a home’s sale price. According to David S. Bunton, President of The Appraisal Foundation, “Appraisers provide an analysis of the collateral, so that lenders understand the value of a property when making the loan decision.”

Myth #4: You need perfect credit.

Most people assume that you must have absolutely golden credit in order to get a loan, but that just simply isn’t the case. If buyers have less than perfect credit, lenders are often willing to work with them to get the best possible loan.

Credit is not the only thing that lenders look at when deciding to approve a loan, but your score will have an effect on the interest rate on your mortgage. Make sure you review your credit report and if any errors are found, they should be reported to the credit reporting bureaus before applying for a mortgage.

When you have selected a lender, pulling your credit report is one of the things they will do for you. They will review it and help with any problems that may show up on the report. They will advise you about your credit score and make an otherwise confusing process go as easy as possible. The lender and your Realtor will work together to help you begin the home buying process and make it go as smoothly as possible.

FOR HomeBUYERS, Inc., as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agency, will also be looking out for your best interest 100% throughout the buying process. Contact us today to learn more about Exclusive Buyer Representation.

Triangle adds 7,700 jobs since February; 26,100 since last year

Durham, Wake, Orange and Chatham all rank in top seven counties in terms of the employment rate

Triangle area employment increased in March compared both to February and to March of last year.

Between the Durham/Chapel Hill and Raleigh/Cary statistical areas, employment here increased by 7,700 nonfarm jobs from February to March, about 1 percent, and by 26,100 compared with March of 2013, about 3 percent, according to data released Tuesday morning from the N.C. Employment Security Commission.

Nonfarm employment excludes workers in general government, including teachers, private households, nonprofit organizations and individual or corporate farms. The “nonfarm” economy makes up roughly 77 percent of the total gross domestic product, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government calculates that figure based on a survey of employers, while it calculates the unemployment rate based on a survey of households.

As has been consistent for years, and even more pronounced since the economic recovery, urban areas like the Triangle, Triad and Charlotte have had better employment rates than rural areas. Durham, Wake, Orange and Chatham all rank in top seven counties in terms of the employment rate.

State leaders have been touting the increasing employment rates, though their measure of overall employment is only half true.

One of the major policies implemented last year was to reduce the length of time that individuals receive unemployment benefits after being laid off. This policy has had the affect of artificially reducing the unemployment rate, the figure often touted by lawmakers.

By reducing benefits, the household unemployment survey technically tallies fewer people in the labor force, even if those people haven’t actually found jobs or stopped looking for work. Reducing the officially counted labor force number, even if that number is reduced artificially because of reduced unemployment benefits, will drive the unemployment rate down – artificially in North Carolina.

Therefore, a better measure of the employment picture in North Carolina is to look at the total jobs figure, which has shown an increase of about 1.6 percent since last year.

Jason deBruyn covers Health Care, Higher Education, Nonprofits and Sports Business for Triangle Business Journal.

Raleigh-Cary No. 5 on list of fastest-growing retirement places

The Raleigh-Cary metro is No. 5 among the fastest-growing retirement places in the U.S.

Using population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, personal finance website NerdWallet ranked the top 75 metro areas based on growth of the 65-and-over population.

The top 10 fastest-growing retirement metros are as follows:

  1. Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, Ariz.
  2. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore. and Wash.
  3. Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev.
  4. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich.
  5. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.
  6. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga.
  7. Tucson, Ariz.
  8. Jacksonville, Fla.
  9. Richmond, Va.
  10. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich.

For the complete list, click here.

Rebecca Troyer manages the Triangle Business Journal’s day-to-day process of delivering the daily digital content and the weekly print edition. Troyer also handles inquiries on news coverage and newspaper deadlines.