Want to buy a single family house in this area? How many bidding wars have you been on the losing side of trying to get an average home of an average price? Why is this happening, and when will it end?

The big story in our current market is how hot the market really is. Prices keep rising as inventory levels keep decreasing. Boomers aren't selling and builders can't make up all the slack.

Supply and Demand

It's a Catch-22 that the Boomers don't sell, because there aren't enough homes to move up or down into. Add that the new home builders got behind in production during the downturn last decade. However, now that they are building again, they are building higher priced homes.

The Triangle area just hit a historic high sales price - an average of $303,000 for our market, according to Stacey Anfindsen. He is a long time appraiser and provider of market statistics to the Triangle MLS, author of the TARR report and acclaimed expert on local market data.

Anfindsen says that annual prices usually peak around the beginning of the third quarter and dip in the fourth. The average price could stay above $300,000 for the first time.

Builders have starting prices for single family homes from $400,000 in much of the Triangle, and that does mean starting price. You expect upgrade charges, but I've noticed that many of the new homes I'm selling now have an added price of tens of thousands of dollars for every lot. Nothing is included.

 Below that price point is generally townhomes and condos. The inventory of townhomes and condos increased by double digits over $199,000, due in large part to the new construction. Most of that construction is now hitting the $250,000 and up buyers.

Conventional Loan Limits

Those wanting a new single family home have a second problem. It can be more difficult to get a loan above $424,100. These "conventional" loans are packaged and sold on the secondary market (think Wall Street) so the lenders' source of funding is constantly replenished.

 

Most counties have a maximum mortgage limit of $424,100 for a single family residence, ($543,000) for two units, ($656,350) for three units & ($815,650) for four units. These limits are applicable for purchase and refinance mortgage loans.

It's generally easier to get a conventional loan. Fewer buyers are eligible to buy homes the further you go above the $424,1000 limit.  

That circles back to supply and demand. Offsetting the loan limits is that builders are providing a supply of single family homes. The effect is a slight softening of the higher priced resale homes, because the builders are tapping into a limited market of buyers.