Abacus Says: All Signs Point to Yes

AbacusThis week I’ve been buried in market stats.  It’s important to understand what’s happening around you in the real estate world, but market statistics will drive you goofy.  Due to the amount of press the Housing Market has been getting, I’ve received lots of questions about the health of the local Raleigh market.  My intuition is probably sound, but that’s not always good enough.  So, I immersed myself in numbers and barely survived.

Today the N&O ran two Associated Press articles about the national housing slump with focus on the sharp drop in home sales during August.  Those articles catalyzed this post.

It is possible to cherry pick data in order to support any pre-formed conclusion.  Admittedly, the stuff I’ve been studying is a bit conflicted, but I didn’t cherry pick my way through it.  Though things change from one neighborhood to the next, the Raleigh area housing market is generally healthy.

The three graphs below show a small piece of the 2007 Raleigh housing market puzzle.  As mentioned, more and different data is available, but the stats graphed here are pretty good indicators.

The graphs focus on four Triangle MLS Areas in and around downtown Raleigh:
Area 1 – Inside the Beltline
Area 2 – North Raleigh
Area 3 – SE Raleigh
Area 4 – SW Raleigh (the area south of NC State University)

Graph - Number of Homes Sold in Central Raleigh - Jan through Aug 2007 Number of Homes Sold: Area 2 (North Raleigh) is the clear leader with an average of 218 homes sold per month.  Average number sold per month for the entire Triangle MLS region is 3113 (not shown on graph).

Graph - Average Price of Homes Sold in Central Raleigh - Jan through Aug 2007Average Home Price: Area 1 (Inside the Beltline) wins this category with an average price of $362,000 per home.  Average 2007 price for the entire Triangle MLS region is $238,000.

Graph - Days On Market for Homes Sold in Central Raleigh - Jan through Aug 2007Average Days on Market:  North Ralegh takes the prize again with an average of 49 days on the market for sold homes.  Average for the entire Triangle MLS region this year is 80 days on the market.

What about the important trends?  We are only looking at 2007, so long-term trends can’t be seen.  Looking at the short-term, nothing alarming stands out.  The big national drop in August home sales is not reflected locally.  The major short-term change is a reduction of Days-on-Market (which is not unhealthy).