RALEIGH – Inflation is sky high, mortgage interest rates have soared this year, and there are signs that the national and state economies are souring.  But that’s not discouraging the sale of mansions and estates priced above $2.5 million across the Triangle and Triad regions.

Since July 1, there have been 29 homes sold for more than $2.5 million, with asking prices ranging from $2.3 million to $5.9 million and closed sale prices ranging from $2.5 million to $5 million, according to the listing database Triangle Multiple Listing Service.

Across those sold homes, the total value of the sales surpassed $90 million.

Sales include homes in established high-end neighborhoods such as Governors Club, where a property listed for $3.3 million sold for $3 million, and also Morning Mountain Estates, where a home listed at $4.75 million sold for $4.1 million.

The home in Morning Mountain Estates had been completely rebuilt in 2015, and the five-acre property backs up to Falls Lake Preserve.  The four-bedroom, 12,178 square-foot property, which was listed by Susan Dahlin Bashford, a real estate broker with Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty in Raleigh, features hand-carved imported fireplace mantles, hand-forged iron stairwell balusters, marble flooring and Brazilian walnut and red oak hardwoods.

1624 Morning Mountain Road. Image Credit: Tour Factory, Raleigh.

Despite uncertainty, luxury home market ‘still strong’

Bashford told WRAL TechWire that even with recent changes in the Triangle’s real estate market, the high-end segment of the local market is excluded from seeing recent price depreciation.

“The high-end market is still strong,” said Bashford.  “The homes that are really nice and are listed at a good price are still selling.”

That includes homes that are listed in excess of $5 million, too, noted Bashford, citing one home that had received multiple offers.

“There’s a pent-up luxury market just standing, waiting in the wings, waiting,” said Bashford. She WRAL TechWire that she and the firm have had clients who wanted to buy high-end homes in the Triangle but gave up because they couldn’t find anything that would meet their needs, no matter the price point.

So what are buyers of luxury homes seeking?

“Unique is really important, quality of construction, and location,” said Bashford.

Why are so many NC businessmen listing their multi-million dollar homes right now?

Luxury segment unaffected by interest rate uncertainty

While luxury home buyers may choose to buy a property with mortgage financing, a lot of buyers in this part of the market can purchase a property in cash, said Bashford.

“Most of the high-end homes, a lot of people are buying them with cash,” said Bashford.  “So the interest rate doesn’t come into play as they would be with lower-end homes.”

But higher-end homes tend to stay on the market much longer than homes in the most affordable segment or the core market, said Laura Siegmund, the owner of Luxe Residential in Raleigh.

Still, many homes priced $1 million to $2.5 million, which used to be considered the top of the market in the Triangle, sold in 30, 60, or 90 days during the last two years, said Siegmund.

“There are still plenty of buyers, plenty of activity,” said Siegmund.  That’s because the Triangle and the Triad are attracting a lot of executives and high-wealth and high-income earners from other regions, whether they’re moving for a job or other reasons.

Construction can’t keep up with demand for luxury homes in NC, real estate agent says

Housing shortage across the region, even in luxury market

Fact is, the Triangle is still experiencing a housing shortage, no matter the segment of the market in which buyers are seeking to find a home, Siegmund noted.

Still, in the luxury market, said Siegmund, sellers shouldn’t expect their homes to sell quickly.  It could take six or even 12 months to sell, which is a typical timeline for the sale of new construction, high-end homes in the region, of which there are many currently offered for sale in the Triangle.

WRAL TechWire reported earlier this year that builders across North Carolina just can’t seem to build luxury homes fast enough.

According to the Triangle Multiple Listing Service, there are 37 active listings available to purchase in the region that are new construction homes or homes that are yet to be finished offered at above $2.5 million, with another 45 existing homes for sale.

Further, there are currently 34 Triangle homes under contract that were listed above $2.5 million in asking price.  And 22 of those homes are new construction homes that were completed in 2022 or have yet to be completed though are still under contract for sale.

223 Shady Drive, Burlington, NC. Image Credit: Lighthouse Visuals

Triad seeing increasing interest in luxury homes, too

Businessman John Burton bought a nearly 18,000 square foot home on 2.3 acres of land that sits lakefront in Burlington, in December 2021 for $2.75 million.

The property, a Tudor-style, palace-like six bedroom home with nine full bathrooms and six half bathrooms, was then listed for sale in late spring 2022.

The asking price: $5.9 million.

Listed by Brandon Blackman with Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s International Realty in Raleigh, the home would sell after being available for 47 days on the open market, with a closing price of just over $4.7 million.

“That’s pretty quick for a luxury property,” said Blackman, adding that the sales price is the highest of any home in Alamance County on record.  And of all home sales searchable in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service database, this property sold for the tenth-most on record.

The property was purchased in an all-cash transaction, with closing taking less than 30 days.  And the buyer was an LLC, Blackman told WRAL TechWire.

But just because the property is among the top 10 sale prices of any listing in the Triangle and Triad region, it might not remain there for long.  Blackman told WRAL TechWire that there are multiple properties for sale in the Triad, with the firm offering one Greensboro estate at $5.7 million on the open market right now.

“There are more and more high-end luxury houses in the Triad area that are on the market,” said Blackman.

Further, of the homes currently pending sale in the Triangle Multiple Listing Service database, five of them were listed at more than $5 million.  And another 12 are available for sale on the open market, including that Greensboro estate and the Cary mansion offered for sale by Triangle entrepreneur and venture capitalist David Gardner.

His Cary mansion is for sale ($8M plus) but investor David Gardner isn’t leaving Triangle