Editor’s Note: Each Friday, WRAL TechWire takes a deep dive into the Triangle’s real estate markets, including the latest Triangle real estate market data and why the Triangle housing boom may be over – or not – the topics of this week’s reports. WRAL TechWire reporter Jason Parker, the author of the report and a licensed real estate agent in North Carolina, works with journalists from WRAL.com to track and present market data and report on how people are experiencing the region’s changing real estate markets. These special reports will use the category tag “Triangle Real Estate” or “Triangle Real Estate Market.”
RALEIGH – The days of selling your home above asking price in less than 24 hours with multiple offers to consider are coming to an end in the Triangle. In other words, the Triangle real estate market is no longer an extreme seller’s market.
And it may not even be a seller’s market, at all, due to the changing dynamics of the local housing market as well as the macroeconomic climate.
The proof is in the numbers, and here are the latest.
Drop in median home sale price
The median sale price of residential real estate in Wake County dropped by $15,000 in August 2022 compared to July 2022, and is down even more from the prior high mark recorded in June 2022.
That’s according to the latest data from Triangle Multiple Listing Service, or TMLS, which was obtained by WRAL TechWire.
The data shows that the median price of real estate sold in August fell to $475,000, down from a median sale price of $490,000 in July, across a similar number of closed transactions.
In Wake County, 1,729 homes sold in July and 1,782 homes sold in August, according to the data set.
The prior high for the county’s real estate market came in June 2022, when the median sale price of real estate was $493,081, with 1,982 homes sold during the month.
Is the Triangle housing boom over?
While some real estate agents see this as a return to a typical seasonal market, others told WRAL TechWire this week that the market has been undergoing a rebalancing process since earlier this year.
“Since about early May, we have been of the opinion and observation that the market was shifting, normalizing, or rebalancing, whichever words you’d want to use,” said Tony Fink, a licensed agent with Linda Craft Team REALTORS in Raleigh, in an interview this week with WRAL TechWire.
“I don’t believe it is rebalancing anymore,” said Fink. “I think is is rebalanced, it has already occurred.”
Triangle housing boom over as market slows
A national report from Realtor.com released on Thursday found that across the nation, the average time a home was listed on the open market before it went under contract for a home sale was 42 days.
That was up by 5 days from a year ago, according to the report.
But according to the preliminary data from TMLS, in Durham County, the average days on market nearly doubled, moving from 8 days to 15 days comparing August 2021 to August 2022, an increase of 87.5%. And as recently as July 2022, the average number of days on market for properties in Durham County was 8 days, as well.
And in Wake County, the average number of days that a home was listed on the market was 15 days in August 2022, up from 8 days on market the prior month and up from 7 days on market in August 2021, according to the data from TMLS. That’s an increase of 114.3%.
Across the Triangle, this measure of the real estate market changed from an average of 9 days on market to 16 days on market year-over-year and jumped from 10 days on market, on average, in July 2022 to 16 days on market in August 2022, the TMLS data showed.
“Right now, things are looking more even,” said Gold. “It was not possible for us to sustain the growth we have seen.”
Ratio gap in pricing has closed
There’s also a closing gap in the market, and that’s the difference, expressed as a ratio, or a percentage, between the list price of a home and the sale price of the home.
On average, homes in the Triangle sold at a ratio of nearly 1:1 between the property’s original list price compared to its sale price, in August 2022, according to TMLS data. For the entire region, the final sales price was 99.8% of the original list price, before accounting for any seller concessions to close the deal.
That also held true in each of Wake County, where the list-to-sale price ratio was 99.9% and in Durham County, with a ratio of 100.6%.
The gap that existed a year ago, or even earlier this year, when homes in Durham and Wake County were selling at 104% of the list price, on average, and in the entire Triangle region, homes were selling at 103.1% of their list price, has now closed.
Still, there are still homes selling in the region that are listed for less than 24 hours, and there are still homes selling at above asking price, both agents noted. A lot has to do with the pricing relative to the condition, and location, of a property.
“A properly-priced home that gives value to a buyer still sells in a reasonable time frame,” Fink noted.
Balanced market doesn’t mean a crash is coming
But a balanced market doesn’t mean home values will fall, or if they do fall, would fall significantly, said Fink.
“I don’t think we’re in a bad market,” said Fink. “We have factors that are very favorable.”
That’s because there is still housing demand.
And while the region’s price appreciation may now have slowed, there’s not a crash on the way, said Fink. “This is a pause in the market that is plateauing, when you think about the market as a whole.”
Still, said Fink, buyer sentiment has changed since earlier this year, from about February to May when buyers seemed to be euphoric.
Now, buyers are patient, thoughtful, and discerning, said Fink.
Seth Gold, a licensed real estate agent with Bold Real Estate and Governors Club Realty, told WRAL TechWire in an interview on Thursday that just because growth may be slowing doesn’t mean that we’re in a “true buyer’s market.”
“I don’t see us getting hit as hard as many other places,” said Gold, as market dynamics change nationally with ongoing economic concerns. “We have stable and impressive growth factors, the biggest being the economic expansion [of the Triangle] with major players in corporate America moving here.”