The residential real estate market in Orange and Durham counties had both positive and negative indicators during the first quarter of 2007. The following are answers to some frequently asked questions. The data stated was obtained from Triangle MLS Inc.
Q: Are people moving in or out of the area?
A: Both counties have had population increases. The 2005 population estimate for Orange County shows a 6 percent increase from the 2002 population estimate. The 2005 population estimate for Durham County shows a 1.3 percent increase from the 2004 population estimate.
The majority of inbound transfers to both counties come from Wake and Mecklenburg counties in North Carolina and Cook County in Illinois. The people that left both counties went to Wake, Mecklenburg and New York City.
Q: What is going on in the job market?
A: Both counties have had work-force increases. Per the N.C. Employment Security Commission, the February work force in Orange County increased 3.45 percent, while in Durham County it increased 3.3 percent. The current unemployment rate in Orange County is 3.3 percent and in Durham County it is 3.7 percent.
Q: What is going on with interest rates?
A: They have gone down. The national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 5.8 percent, compared to 6.43 percent in April 2006. The national average for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 5.55 percent, compared to 6.1 percent in April 2006.
Q: What are the average prices?
A: The average list price Orange County was $448,012, a decrease of 1.48 percent compared to last year. The average sold price in Orange County is $323,600, down 1.97 percent compared to last year.
The average list price in Durham County during the first quarter of 2007 was $243,275, an increase of 7.7 percent over last year. The average sold price in Durham County is $204,700, up 14.6 percent compared to last year.
There were 310 closings in Orange County during the quarter, a decrease of 9.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2006. There were 910 closings in Durham County during the quarter, an increase of 4.6 percent compared to the first quarter of 2006.
Q: What is going on with housing in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro high school district?
A: During the first week in May there were 467 active listings within the Carrboro-Chapel Hill high school district at an average list price of $516,000 with an average days-on-market of 87. The average closed price through the first three months was $384,000, an increase of 1.1 percent from the $379,500 average after the first quarter of 2006.
The average days-on-market for the closings during the first quarter of 2007 was 80, compared to 79 one year ago. There were 212 closed sales (compared to 219 in the first quarter of 2006) during the quarter and 280 listings with a pending status.
The overall current supply in this district is two months and the supply for detached housing product priced below $300,000 is two months.
Q: What is happening with inventory?
A: Both counties have seen increases in overall inventory and re-sale inventory. Overall inventory in Orange County increased 22 percent to 776 listings. Orange County re-sale inventory increased 25 percent to 627 listings. Overall inventory in Durham County increased 6.88 percent to 2,236 listings. Durham County re-sale inventory increased 2.7 percent to 1,709 listings.
Q: Is anyone looking at residential housing?
A: There were 3,949 showings of active listings within Orange County during March. This represents 4 percent of all showing activity within the TMLS. The majority of showings were in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro market.
There were 9,453 showings of active listings within Durham County during March. This represents 10 percent of all showing activity within the TMLS. The majority of showings were in the southern Durham market.
Q: How does the current supply compare with other areas in the Triangle?
A: Both counties have a higher current supply than seen in competing counties. The current supply is a snapshot measure of supply and demand, stating the current inventory supply in months based upon sales pace during a given period of time.
The current supply for all housing located in each county is seven months. The current supply of housing located in the combined counties of Durham, Orange, Johnston and Wake is six months. The national current supply is approaching eight months.
Q: Are house prices appreciating?
A: Yes they are; the current average for re-sales within the past 18 months in Durham County is 4.34 percent, the average rate in Orange County has been 7.61 percent. The rate for housing in United States during the fourth quarter of 2006 was 5.9 percent, the rate for the South Atlantic region was 7.35 percent, and the rate for North Carolina was 8.19 percent.
Q: Where are people buying?
A: Providence Glen, Southern Village, Lake Hogan Farms and Ashbury were the top Orange County sellers. Woodcroft, Hope Valley Farms and Grove Park were the top Durham County sellers during the first quarter.
Q: What is going on with housing located in northern Chatham County?
A: There are currently 350 active listings within this market segment at an average list price of $653,700 with an average days-on-market of 158. The current average closed price through the first three months is $487,400, an increase of 31 percent from the $371,500 average after the first quarter of 2006. The average days-on-market for the closings during the first quarter of 2007 was 122, compared to 108 one year ago. There were 78 closed sales (compared to 77 in the first quarter of 2006) during the quarter and 94 listings with a pending status. The overall current supply in this district is 13.5 months.
Sue Millager is the executive officer with the Greater Chapel Hill Association of Realtors. She can be reached at 929-4032 or email@example.com
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