Behind the rocky housing figures

RALEIGH — Trying to predict the future of the Triangle’s housing market has been tough the past few years. Economic uncertainty and conflicting news coverage regarding new home sales can drive anyone to throw their arms up in disbelief. Housing start permits are up one month, builder and consumer confidence are down the next month, and there’s even been some talk about renting as the “new norm.”

Despite the changing data reports, now and moving forward, I believe we can at least ground ourselves knowing that the American dream is still alive. According to the results of a recent poll conducted by the Republican and Democratic polling firms of Public Opinion Strategies and Lake Research Partners for the National Association of Home Builders, homeowners and non-owners alike consider owning a home essential. An overwhelming 75 percent of those surveyed said that owning a home is worth the risk of the fluctuations in the market. Ninety-five percent of homeowners said they are happy with their decision to own a home, and 73 percent of renters said that owning a home is one of their goals.

You can translate the data any way you want, but home ownership is still one of the best investments for individual households. In addition, Wake County continues to be a reasonably healthy market. In the Raleigh-Cary area, home prices have fallen only about 9 percent since their peak in 2007 according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Price Index. Comparatively, home prices have fallen 19.3 percent throughout the rest of the country since 2007.

Tim Minton

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