How the pandemic is driving a seller’s market for housing in North Carolina

Business

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Who would have thought that — in the middle of a pandemic and the great economic challenge that comes with it — selling a home would be easier and buying one would be harder.

On average, North Carolina only has about a month’s supply of homes that are on the market. Many are selling in 10 days or fewer.

“Once you put a home on the market, all of sudden you’ll receive several offers within days and most of the offer prices are above your listing prices,” said Professor Yongqiang Chu.

Chu is the Director of the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate and a professor of urban economics and finance at UNC Charlotte.

Chu said low interest rates are driving the market. People aren’t spending money, so they have more cash on hand. Also, there is a need for more space as so many are working and schooling at home. That includes people from areas like New York who choose to move to North Carolina, among other areas, because they can work remotely and it’s cheaper.

“The price levels are supported by the demand. It’s not that people just want to buy and invest and hope for price appreciation that’s not the case. People really want a house in North Carolina. That’s why it’s pushing up the prices,” Chu said. 

But, there’s a big problem. New construction is not keeping up with the increase in demand and prices are also pushing middle-income families from homeownership.

“If we cannot solve this problem, then at some point people will say, ‘OK, it’s too expensive to live in Charlotte or Raleigh.’ So we need to figure out ways to increase housing supply and the only way to do that is to encourage development instead of setting up roadblocks for new development.”

That is also the case, he said, as the demand may only increase when unemployment rates go down and the economy gets stronger.

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