Triangle, Durham County home sales up in 2013

Jan. 14, 2014 @ 05:17 PM

Triangle home sales were up more than 24 percent in 2013 from the prior year, and the average price for the four-county area increased 4 percent.

The price increase for Durham, Orange, Johnston and Wake counties was a “very good sign,” according to Stacey Anfindsen, a residential real estate appraiser and market analyst for Birch Appraisal group in Cary.

“It helps give the people that were under water (the ability to) potentially move close to water, or above water, so they can move up, move out, move over, move down -- whatever they want to do,” Anfindsen said.

Anfindsen said housing trends in Durham County reflected what’s going on across the Triangle, although the average sales price was lower.

Durham County home sales were up 16.7 percent for the year with 3,741 total sales, according to Triangle Multiple Listing Service data. The average sales price in the county was up 3.5 percent to $201,255, and the median price was up 2.9 percent to $175,000.

In Orange County, home sales were up 27.5 percent for the year compared to the prior year for a total of 1,628 sales. The average sales price was up 2.5 percent to $327,758, and up 3.4 percent to $274,128.

For the four Triangle counties in 2013, the average sales price was up 4 percent to $246,700, according to Anfindsen. Forty-six percent of resale closings in the year sold in between 1 and 30 days, he said.

Generally, Anfindsen said that the housing market for homes priced below $600,000 is strong, but it’s a “drastically different marketplace” for homes above that price level.

Looking across 2014, he said interest rates, inventory levels, job creation and wage growth, as well as the impact of the President’s health care overhaul, are “wild cards” that may impact the housing market.

“Every year has wild cards, and the wild cards that I mentioned were the same for 2013, with the exception of Obamacare,” he said. “If it takes money out of people’s pockets, money out of the economy, (consumers will) think twice about whether they want to buy a bigger house.”