Triangle home sales dip

Triangle home sales continued to limp along in February as the market prepares to enter what has historically been the busiest period of the year.

There were 891 homes sold in February in Wake, Durham, Orange and Johnston counties, down 3 percent from the same period a year ago, Triangle Multiple Listing Service data show.

Showings were down 20 percent from a year ago. Pending sales were off 27 percent.

The numbers reflect both a sluggish economy and the absence of federal homebuyer tax credits. Last year at this time, the government was offering credits to first-time and repeat home buyers.

The Triangle enters the spring selling season with 12,628 homes listed for sale, down 4 percent from a year ago but up 7 percent from January.

There had been concern among real estate agents that a wave of new homes might come on the market early this year, adding to an already bloated inventory.

But the increase in recent months has been similar to previous years.

“That’s typical,” said Stacey Anfindsen, a Cary appraiser who analyzes MLS data for the Triangle. “I would have been worried if it would have been a double-digit increase.”

When February closings are considered, the Triangle now has a 14-month supply of homes on the market. Anything over 10 months is considered oversupply.

The average days on the market for the homes that closed in February was 122 days, compared with 102 days during the same period last year.

The excess inventory is putting downward pressure on prices.

Across the Triangle, the purchase price for the homes that sold in February was about 10 percent less than the original list price of those homes.


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