From $239,900 to $6,000,000:  What Can You Buy Now in Southern Orange County?

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REAL ESTATE

By Gary A. Miller
Columnist

It is March, and we are entering the spring housing market.  While there is no official beginning to the spring market, as the weather warms and the basketball tournaments come and go, more and more houses tend to come onto the market.

Whether in a low inventory market, as we have been for the past several years, or in a higher inventory market, such as the years following the 2008 downturn, the months of March, April and May have been among the busiest in terms of listings.

The months prior to the spring market can give some indication for the months that follow. The table below highlights the number of homes for sale in January and February for the current and prior four years in Southern Orange County, defined in this article as the zip codes of 27510, 27514, 27516 and 27517 within the county boundaries. 

Year20192020202120222023
# of homes for sale in  Jan. & Feb. 

799

 

688

 

319

 

130

 

210

It is clear the beginning of 2023 again finds buyers with limited options compared to pre-pandemic years.  Reviewing the years prior to 2019 reveals even greater numbers of purchase options in the first two months of the year than was seen even in 2019 and 2020.

In the remainder of this article, I will examine what has sold so far in 2023, as well as what is currently available at various price points in Southern Orange County.  A total of 64 closed transactions at all price points took place between January 1 and February 28.  As of March 1, there were a total of 43 active listings available for buyers to consider at all price points.

The median price of all 43 of the currently active homes is $825,000 in the four zip codes.

Under $250,000

Only six properties in Southern Orange County sold at a price of $250,000 or less in the first two months of the year.  The median price was $212,000 with a low of $150,000 and a high of $250,000.  None of these properties were detached homes—three condos and three attached homes (townhomes) sales were recorded during this time. 

As of March 1, there were two homes available under $250,000.  Both were two bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom condos in the Village Green subdivision.

From $250,001 to $500,000

A total of 21 properties between $250,001 and $500,000 have sold in the first two months of 2023.  Among them, the median sales price was $340,000 with a low of $251,000 and a high of $500,000.  Ten of these homes were detached; six were condos; and five were attached homes.

As of March 1, there were 11 homes available between $250,001 and $500,000.  The median was $425,000.  Six were detached homes; three were condos; and two were attached homes.

From $500,001 to $750,000

Fourteen homes closed between $500,001 and $750,000 in the first two months of 2023.  The median among them was $635,000 with a low of $510,000 and a high of $740,000.  All of these properties were detached homes, excepting one attached home in the Winmore subdivision.

As of March 1, there were seven active properties between $500,001 and $750,000.  The median was $714,900.  All of the available properties were detached.

From $750,001 to $1,000,000

A total of ten homes had closed sales between $750,001 and $1,000,000 in January and February of 2023.  The median was $830,500 with a low of $755,000 and the high was $1,000,000.  Eight of these properties were detached homes, and two were condos, one in Wexford and one in 140 West Franklin Condominiums.

As of March 1, there were eight properties available between $750,001 and $1,000,000.  The median price was $895,000.  There were no condo or attached properties available in this price range.

Greater than $1,000,001

Thirteen properties closed with a sales price of more than $1,000,001 in the first two months of the year.  The median price was $1,204,999 with a low of $1,050,000 and a high of $1,900,000.  All but one of the homes were detached, excepting one condo in the McCorkle Place subdivision on Franklin Street.

As of March 1, there were 15 properties available with an asking price of more than $1,000,001.  The median price was $1,750,000, and the high was a notable $6,000,000 for a 4,684 square foot detached home, which would be a record sale price (the most expensive documented sale in current MLS records was a $4,800,000 detached home in Gimghoul).  No condos or attached homes are available in this price range.

Summary

While the national narrative may be that of a slowing market, and while it is undeniable that fewer homes were sold in January and February, in our corner of the Triangle this decline is clearly associated with lower inventory rather than lack of buyers.  Among all 64 closed transactions, the sold price was a modest one percent below asking price—and remember that many of the homes closing during this period would have been listed in December, the slowest time of the year for home sales. Among only those homes listing in 2023, the average sales price was approximately $16,000 over the initial asking price.

I’ll close with a humorous indicator of the speed of sales in our area:  When I began writing this article at 8 p.m. on March 1, there were 44 homes available for purchase.  By the time I compiled all the data an hour later, there were only 43. 


Gary A. Miller is co-owner of Red Bloom Realty.  He has lived and worked in Chapel Hill off and on since 1994 and is an avid musician, traveler and former educator.

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