Why First-Time Homebuyers are Finding Success in the Triangle Area

Personal finance company Bankrate recently named Raleigh the third-best metro area in the country for first-time buyers. Durham and Chapel Hill also ranked above average nationally for first-time buyers. The rankings were created by aggregating a city’s affordability, job market, market tightness, and wellness & culture. Raleigh ranked number one in the country for market tightness (or lack thereof) due to an ample supply of housing options.

Raleigh and the greater Triangle area are great for first-time buyers for 4 main reasons:

1. Builders are back building

    The Covid-19 pandemic created a considerable amount of uncertainty and problems for the building industry including supply chain issues and fluctuations in construction input prices. No one was sure what direction the economy was headed or who would be buying what.

    In the summer of 2021, massive wildfires in Canada exasperated the lumber shortage and caused prices to increase even more. At one point, many builders stopped or slowed building because housing prices had not caught up with the costs of building and builders were struggling to break even.

    Much of the uncertainty has faded and the housing supply in the area has rebounded.

    2. Homeowners looking to upgrade are now putting their houses on the market

    The uncertainty during the height of the pandemic meant that many people who were interested in selling their homes decided to wait. Many were unsure about job security and the direction mortgage rates were headed, plus housing supply was abysmal. These homeowners didn’t want to sell their homes when they couldn’t find another one to buy. Now that housing supply has rebounded they are moving to larger and/or more expensive homes and putting more affordable ones on the market.

    3. The job market in the Triangle remains strong and stable

    The pandemic brought considerable job insecurity and has massively shaken up the way people work. While this has created uncertainty in some places, the Triangle continues to have a strong job market and companies continue to move here.

    4. Mortgage rates have stabilized

    The looming threat of a recession appears to have diminished and mortgage rates have gone down from their recent spike. Will they ever be as low as they were during the height of the pandemic? It’s unlikely, and I wouldn’t hold your breath waiting. With less uncertainty on the horizon rates appear to be more stable.

    Overall, the chaotic storm that Covid wrought has mostly passed for the housing market. Housing supplies have jumped back up and prices have stabilized. During the height of the pandemic, market appraisers were under-appraising houses. Now homes are properly priced, and we seem to have settled into the new normal. Our area is flushed with good housing opportunities and looks set for steady and stable growth.