average home cost during the month was $180,516, an 11 percent annual increase. For the first quarter of 2017, ATTOM Data Solutions reported that housing affordability is still better than historic norms in all areas of the Triad. Flipped properties accounted for 5.2 percent of total home sales in Greensboro-High Point for 2016, and 5.7 percent of all sales in Winston-Salem. For the first quarter of 2017, FHA sales in Greensboro-High Point were down 18 percent, and cash sales were down 4 percent while sales to institutional investors rose 10 percent for the period. In Winston-Salem, FHA sales were down 8 percent, cash sales were up 5 percent, and sales to institutional investors were down 22 percent. “The economy in Greensboro-High Point has struggled,” said Dr. Walden. “There’s some development going on in downtown Greensboro and a large hospital for Wake Forest University [in Winston-Salem]. Greensboro also has a large FedEx distribution center. That area is challenged. Much more than the other two major metro areas.” ARTSY IN ASHVILLE In addition to being the home of the famous Biltmore Estate, Asheville is a tourist destination, a foodie town with a number of chefs who have been nominated for the James Beard award, microbreweries, and an artist colony. Its vibe, much like San Francisco of the 1990s, includes well-known musicians playing on the streets. “It’s like the heart of San Francisco plopped down in the Appalachias. It’s extremely artsy. We have four distinct but mild seasons which is a big draw. We have low real estate taxes, and it’s a super cool town. It’s very diverse,” said Lyn McFarland, broker/owner of Asheville Bulldog Realty. Much like the Realtors in other

“Definitely a large amount of business has been investors. For a long time when the market was switching you were able to buy properties and flip them. It’s so competitive now that it’s changed the dynamics of what you can buy,” he said, adding that just a couple of years ago an investor could buy at $200,000 and fix up and sell for $300,000. Now that same property is much more expensive out of the gate. “Now you buy, manage the property for a certain time, then down the road come back and fix them up and sell them. You’ve rented them out and managed them and you’ve created your own inventory for later.” According to ATTOM Data Solutions, the median sales price in Raleigh rose 11 percent for the first quarter of 2017 to $232,000 compared to the same quarter a year earlier. In Durham, the median sales price was up 3 percent year-over-year to $190,000.Flips accounted for 5 percent of all home sales in Durham-Chapel Hill in 2016 and 4.4 percent of all home sales during the year in Raleigh. For the first quarter of 2017, total distressed sales were down 17 percent in the Durham-Chapel Hill metro area and down 28 percent in the Raleigh metro area compared to a year ago. A total of 3,353 units were sold in the Triangle area (including new homes), a 21 percent increase for March 2017 compared to the same month last year. Average sales cost was $276,912, a 7 percent annual increase, reported the NCAR. TRYING IN THE TRIAD Comprised of the Greensboro-High Point and Winston-Salem metro areas combined, the Triad is the third largest population center in the state. NCAR reported the sale of 1,742 units in the Triad during March 2017, up 16 percent from March 2016. The

Total distressed sales in the market were down 22 percent compared to the same quarter last year. Flips accounted for 5.1 percent off all total home sales in Charlotte in 2016. For March 2017, the NCAR reported 3,965 units sold in Charlotte, a 22 percent increase over March 2016. Average home cost for the month was $271,351, a 10 percent annual increase. Similar to the Charlotte metro, the Raleigh-Durham housing market “is going pretty crazy right now,” according to Brian Peters, a broker with Fonville Morisey Realty’s Stonehenge office in Raleigh. Peters said that any home priced under $300,000 that is in good condition gets multiple offers and doesn’t stay on the market long. So it is tough for first RAPIDLY RISING IN RALEIGH-DURHAM

time homebuyers to find anything in the starter home price range given the level of competition out there. “With first timers, a lot of them would like to have something at a lower price point,” he said. “They’re not going to find a detached home for under $200,000 unless it’s in bad shape and needs a lot of work. “You also have a lot of investors coming in and even those are competitive to rehab properties, plus land prices have gone up. It makes having a buyer a real challenge,” Peters said. “It’s much easier if you’re looking at something for $400,000 and up.” With room to build and land prices rising, Peters said it’s impossible for builders to come in and put up a project at the $200,000 price point. With limited space he is seeing a lot of older neighborhoods with homes being torn down and two to three houses being built on the same lot.

parts of the state, McFarland says the competition for homes these days is tough. But unlike the unsustainable appreciation of the early decade of the century, appreciation is much more moderate now, around 4 to 6 percent. “Our inventory is very low. Good properties go very quickly and frequently with multiple offers,” McFarland said. “That said, our average price point is still well below the major markets people are coming from.” Although a popular area for investors, there are not a lot of deals to be had in the Asheville market now. “I’m seeing a lot more buy and fix and live in for a couple years and then sell,” he said. “Some investors I’ve worked with are moving to South Carolina. There’s some great markets there.” The NCAR reported 361 homes were sold in Asheville during March 2017, down 4 percent from a year ago while the average home cost rose 7 percent in Asheville to $311,645 during the same period. Given the present reality and projections for future in-migration to the state, along with population shifts within North Carolina, experts across the state expect demand for housing will continue to increase on both the rental and ownership sides. Investors can capitalize on that demand if prepared to shift their way of thinking and investment strategies under current market conditions. One such shift may be moving further away from the most competitive urban areas to find the best deals. •




Charlotte MetroArea Median Sales Price Q1 2017

8% Increase comparing to Q1 2016


Number of Units Sold in Charlotte March 2017

22% Increase comparing to March 2016


Average Home Cost March 2017

10% annual increase

ATTOM Data Solutions is a leading provider of public- ly recorded tax, deed, mortgage and foreclosure data along with proprietary neighborhood and parcel-lev- el risk data for more than 150 million U.S. properties. Learn more at

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