Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Triangle Housing Update

When driving around town, the pull-back in the Triangle real estate market is obvious to the casual observer. Houses sit on the market for many months and are still not sold. Land that developers planned to use for the next state of sub-divisions suddenly has large for-sale placards. Some developments have come to a screeching halt with no further construction

Most of the builders and real estate agents are absolutely glum about the local prospects. Many are fleeing to pursue other career opportunities.

Still the local real-estate organizations cheerlead, publicizing that the Triangle market is better off than other regions. Considering the state of real estate nationally, this is merely the equivalent of stating that being trampled by a wildebeest is preferable to being squashed by a hippo.

An N&O article today outlined that sales of the Triangle's existing homes fell for the eighth consecutive month in February. The local foreclosure rate has sky-rocketed while unemployment is now at 5%. Despite over 40,000 people coming to the region each year, most of the new-comers have not been able to unload their existing homes in other markets.

Despite the rise in inventory and drop in sales, the average price has managed to rise 3.1% from a year ago. Despite the attempts of the real estate industry to tout this, the news is actually dismal. Each month the average price rise decreases; shortly the figures will turn negative based on any type of statistical evaluation.

Local realtors are hoping for a strong spring/summer selling season, any type of evaluation of the market over time demonstrates that it is likely that their hopes will be crushed. There are no meaningful figures that indicate the local real estate market will improve during 2008. While the Triangle may not be as negatively impacted as other speculative markets, by no means is the region immune from real estate downside.

Sales of Triangle homes off again