Triangle Housing Market Strong All Around May 2012

The Triangle Multiple Listing Service (TMLS) reports the following information pertaining to the housing industry in the greater Triangle Region during May of 2012. 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.

Ray Larcher, President of Triangle MLS, Inc., said, “Combined with reliable sales volumes, fewer active listings translated into competing bids on existing inventory and modest price gains in select neighborhoods. Informed sellers noticed some homes selling quicker and for closer to asking price. Home searches turned up far fewer results than in recent years. With fewer distressed properties selling, prices are effectively ‘melting up’ due to less downward pressure. May was strong all around.”

Closed sales were up 26 percent over May of 2011. Durham County led the positive trend with a 38 percent (372 units) increase. Wake County sales were up 29 percent (1,264 units) and Chatham County increased 28 percent (78 units) over May of 2011. The areas with the largest increases over last May included North Raleigh up 66 percent; South Durham up 62 percent; and Fuquay-Varina/Holly Springs increased 48 percent over May of 2011. In addition, pending sales (homes under contract, but not yet closed) also exceeded last May by 35 percent.

Inventory levels of homes for sale shrank 28 percent in May to 13,985 units from May 2011 and new listings in the Triangle region increased slightly by only 3 percent. For the third month housing prices enjoyed an increase in May with Median Sales Price up 2 percent to $194,200 and Average Sales Prices up 4 percent to $234,263. The Days on Market continued a downward trend for the second month in May to 115 days, a 9 percent decrease of the previous May. Absorption rates improved as the Month’s supply of inventory was down 34 percent to 8.0 months.

The Housing Affordability Index was at 192, which was eight percent higher than last year, another positive sign for our market. This index measures housing affordability for the region and an index of 120 means the median household income was 120 percent of what is necessary to qualify for the median-priced home under prevailing interest rates. A higher number means greater affordability.

“These numbers indicate that the positive trend will likely remain strong through the summer,” Larcher concluded.

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