September home sales up 6.5% in Durham County

Oct. 11, 2013 @ 05:07 PM

Triangle home sales were up 15 percent in September, continuing a streak of double-digit increases seen each month so far this year.

Home sale prices were also up in the four counties of Durham, Orange, Wake and Johnston, and total inventory was down.
But whether that positive trend continues depends on a few factors that Stacey Anfindsen, a residential real estate appraiser and market analyst for Birch Appraisal group in Cary, called “wild cards.”
“The government shutdown, and how it affects people’s ability to get a mortgage – that’s a bit of an unknown in terms of how it’s going to last,” Anfindsen said. “We’re going into the fourth quarter, which is usually the lowest time of the year.”
According to Triangle Multiple Listing Services Data, home sales were up 15 percent to a total of 1,900 homes in September in the four-county Triangle area.
In Durham County, home sales were up 6.5 percent. Wake County’s sales were up 16 percent, Orange County’s sales were down 5 percent, and Johnson’s sales were up more than 30 percent.
“We’ve had double digit percentage increases throughout this year, actually starting in the fourth quarter of last year,” Anfindsen said. “I think the economy is still good here compared to nationally. Compared to nationally, we’re still doing really well.”
In addition, the available inventory of homes still on the market has continued to fall. Total inventory across the four counties was down approximately 11 percent to 9,617 homes compared with the same month last year.
New home builders are adding homes to the market in Durham County and in the four-county market, Anfindsen said. But he said the construction firms are not fully staffed, which he said has limited their capacity to build. 
And with the pace of sales, he said he doesn’t expect the pace of new home construction to drive up total inventory numbers for the area.
“I think new home inventory (construction) will continue to grow, but not at a pace where it will ease the current (total) inventory situation,” he said.
Prices were also up in all four counties in September. Durham County’s median sales price, at $169,500, was up 1.5 percent. The average sales price in the county was up more than 6 percent to $194,803.