Great question and I know a popular one among people all across our nation right now. While we are lucky to be in a stable market here in the Raleigh area, we are also not seeing our housing prices as a whole to decline but rather they are still increasing in value. If you are looking for a home with more equity already built into it and a lower than normal price, there are particular situations going on that will give you that opportunity. You can speak with your real estate agent about possible foreclosure sales, short sales, or other circumstances that would allow you to purchase your home or investment property for less than the appraised value.
With that being said, this fall and winter are terrific times to be a home buyer and take advantage of the opportunities present with the lower interest rates, first time home buyer tax credit, selection of houses on the market and of course, all the other benefits that come along with being a homeowner.
Don't forget that while you are out there looking at property, you can easily add a few houses to your collection and become a real estate investor. As now is a great time for buyers, it is also a perfect opportunity to diversify your assets and put some money into real estate and watch it grow! If you are interested in renting your investment property, your real estate agent can help you or put you in touch with a company that manages your property for you and makes the management process smooth!
All Real Estate markets are unique, ours happens to be one that is still seeing slight increases in values. That being said there are bargains to be found, as far as home prices dropping significantly, probably not. The interest rate is also unlikely to drop below 5 %.
The other thing the Triangle has going for it is a stable economy (comparably speaking) and for being voted consistently a "Best Place To Live". For these reasons, while the Triangle (Raleigh) may see some short term pressures on home prices, we are likely to continue our Bull Market as long as these conditions continue.
That said, there will be pockets of overdevelopment and some markets that may have other highly localized pressures that may drive prices down for that particular local market. Likewise, there will continue to be others like the current downtown Raleigh boom and the Inside The Beltline group that should continue to flourish and we should see prices remain strong.
Hope this helps to answer your question.
The Wake Co. area is quite an anomaly... the average price of homes is increasing and values in general are appreciating (the average in Wake Co. across the board last year was 2.33%, according to the TARR Report). Appreciation rates are area and subdivision-specific, so it's hard to have a blanket statement for every neighborhood. I can research certain subdivisions for you if you're interested in knowing the appreciation rate there over the past 13 mos since we have access to that via the TARR Report. We can also show you which price ranges have the most inventory and which ones are still selling well.
The thing that has decreased here in this area is the total number of homes sold, but not necessarily the home values. Again, depending on the neighborhood, if there are foreclosures or short sales around, those can affect property values, but I think I remember hearing that it's less than 2% of all homes--not half the country as the media would have you believe.
The fact is that over 98% of home loans were current with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac around here, so we're not seeing the huge drops in value like other parts of the country because home pricing here never got out of hand and appreciation has been slow and steady for at least the past 18 years. Some neighborhoods have seen double digit appreciation while others may fall in the 1-5% range.
We've also found that homes aren't selling here because folks can't sell their other homes in other parts of the country. There are still over 80 people per day moving to Wake Co. because of its location, education system, job market, and opportunities for a lower cost of living as compared to other areas of the country.
As for predicting interest rates, those can change several times per day and no one can foresee what they'll be. When the Fed drops rates, it doesn't always have an effect on mortgage lending rates but rather the rates at which banks can lend to each other (which usually means less interest for us in our checking and savings accts). To get the most accurate rates, you'd need to speak with a lender. I have several reputable ones that you can talk to if needed.
As far as buyer incentives go, there is already an incentive that began for July of this year and goes through April of next year for a $7500 tax credit for first time homebuyers or those who haven't owned a home in 3 yrs. It's sort of like a tax-free loan in the form of less tax burden the year after you buy the house. The government reclaims it in the form of extra taxes at around $550 / yr for 15 yrs or the remainder is recaptured at closing if you sell.
There are still 100% financing options available depending on your bank. State Employees' Credit Union may have it and there's a USDA Rural Housing loan that has 100% options if you purchase in what's considered to be a rural area here. New construction homes are also throwing TONS of incentives at buyers right now trying to get inventory to move, so depending on price range, you could get quite a deal there. For the most part, however, in this area, the average list to sale price ratio is 97% and has been for years.
Hope this info helps. Please feel free to email me if you have more questions
Carrie Surti, Broker
Coldwell Banker HPW
Your question is a popular one.......
Many people are asking the same question but the reality is the "short sale " and "foreclosure" markets are and will continue to create the direction for pricing homes. This will probably continue until the inventory of homes currently on the market significantly decreases.
We are seeing evidence of deminishing numbers of home that are for sale in some areas. It makes no difference if these home are "sold" or just taken off the market because sellers give up and withdraw their property from the market. The important factor is that these numbers show a decrease the inventory of homes that are for sale.
It is impossible to provide an accurate answer for your question because real estate is such a regional business. Locations that have dropped drastically may be at the bottom now, while areas that have not experienced a major adjustment, may soon see decreasing prices.