Durham County home sales up 6.4 percent in May

Jun. 16, 2014 @ 07:14 PM

Durham County saw a 6.4 percent increase in home sales in May, continuing the streak of year-over-year home sales increases that the county has seen each month since March of last year.

The county’s sales increase outpaced the approximately 3 percent increase seen across the four Triangle counties of Durham, Orange, Wake and Johnston. Each individual county saw an increase in the month except Orange, which saw a decrease of 30 closings for a total of 150 in the month.

Orange was also the only county to see a decline in either the average or median sales price in the month. Orange’s median sales price fell 4.3 percent, while its average remained relatively flat at 0.7 percent. Durham County’s median and sales prices increased 2.5 percent in May compared with the prior year.

“We’re definitely seeing … good activity, and people looking,” said Kirk West, the president of the Durham Regional Association of Realtors. However, West also said there’s still a lack of inventory in the county.

Inventory was down 12.4 percent in May to a total of 1,616 homes. There was a 5.1 months’ supply of inventory on the market, which was down 22.8 percent. However, new listings ticked up 3.5 percent in the month to 534 listings.

“Some people are taking a little longer to find the right house because it’s being sold before they make an offer or (they have) a multiple offer situation, and don’t win,” West said. “I think…Durham in particular is growing, and we’ve got some great activity downtown, and more people are realizing what Durham has to offer.”

Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary-based residential real estate appraiser and market analyst, said May marked a turning point across the four-county Triangle market for re-sale inventory, but not for Durham.

According to Anfindsen’s data, which counts re-sale inventory on the 10th day of each month, Durham County re-sale inventory was down 6 percent year-over-year in May, while each of the other three counties in the Triangle saw increases.

“So the sellers, they’re still having a tough time getting prices up in the county enough to get those sellers who purchased in 2006, 2010, in to the market,” Anfindsen said. “And that’s different than the overall four-county market. In the overall four-county market, we finally had re-sale inventory growth…”