Triad Housing Market Is Back (Sort Of)
The area is experiencing the best year for housing that it has seen in seven years. Still, Forsyth, Guilford and Alamance counties lag behind the national growth numbers and have yet to achieve pre-recession levels. The Triad Business Journal's Kristin Zachary has reported on the rebounding housing market and says it's complicated.
"Homebuyers are seeing some price increases, so what you could get for $125,000 a couple of years ago is now going for $160,000," says Zachary. But she says it's still a buyer's market–people are looking for newer construction or they're looking for houses that have been remodeled. "So, sellers who have not been remodeling and have been sitting on their homes for the last fifteen years, they're going to have a more difficult time selling their homes."
One telling indicator for how the housing market is doing is the number of building permits issued, which increased in the first quarter to 58. That compares to 452 in the same time frame last year. Zachary reports these numbers show that there's more demand for homes, and builders are becoming more confident in adding inventory to the market.
"There is a little bit of a risk. If building permit filings continue to outpace closings, we are going to be flirting with overbuilding," says Zachary. "However, brokers that I've spoken with say there's a lack of inventory for new homes and also for existing homes, and they're really hurting for the inventory to show buyers to meet the demand that's out there."
Zachary says the Triad is seeing growth economically and as long as that continues, housing will follow a slow, but steady trajectory. She says brokers and builders she's interviewed feel confident they won't experience the problems the market underwent during the recession.
"This is the new normal. Not quite as many permits, not quite as many closings, but definitely better than we've seen in recent years."
The Business Report on 88.5 WFDD is a partnership with the Triad Business Journal.