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The capital of North Carolina, Raleigh is an attractive area to live in. Together with Durham and Chapel Hill, Raleigh is one third of what’s known as the Research Triangle, home to three major universities (Duke, NC State and UNC) and numerous high-tech companies. Raleigh also offers mild weather and access to the Tar Heel State’s beautiful beaches and mountains.
North Carolina boasts a refreshingly affordable cost of living as well, with no state property tax and a relatively low state sales tax rate of 4.75 percent. Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in this popular area, here’s everything you need to know about the housing market in Raleigh.
Raleigh housing market overview
Home prices in Raleigh have skyrocketed in recent years, according to Redfin data. May 2023’s median sale price of $415,000 is a bit higher than the current nationwide median but much, much higher than the city’s median just a few years ago: In May of 2020, Raleigh homes were selling for just $280,000. That said, prices have dipped slightly year-over-year despite the long-term upward trend, and the time it takes homes to sell is growing.
Raleigh housing trends and stats
- Per Redfin, the median sale price in Raleigh in May 2023 was $415,000 — about $19,000 higher than the nationwide median price of $396,100.
- That’s a 2.4 percent decline year-over-year, but a large jump from 2020 and 2021.
- The sale-to-list ratio in May was 100.4 percent, meaning homes were going for full asking price or slightly above. While that’s great news for sellers, it’s actually a 6.8 percent decline from May of last year.
- Homes spent a median of 34 days on the market in May, 12 days longer than it took last year.
- Closing costs in North Carolina average about 1.1 percent of the home’s sale price, according to CoreLogic’s ClosingCorp. On a median-priced $415,000 Raleigh home, that comes to $4,565.
Should you buy or sell in the Raleigh housing market?
If you’re a home seller
It’s a seller’s market in Raleigh — in fact, Redfin reports that available homes are receiving an average of three offers. In addition, around 45 percent of homes sold in May went for above list price. If you list during spring or summer, traditionally the best times of year to sell, you might do even better.
Keep in mind, though, that while home prices are robust here, they are slightly lower than they were this time last year. And with today’s high-rate environment, the pool of buyers who can still afford to buy is narrowed. It’s important to work with an experienced local real estate agent to make sure you understand exactly how much your house is worth, so you can price it correctly.
If you’re a homebuyer
Sellers may have the edge here, but the housing market in Raleigh is becoming more favorable to homebuyers. One point in your favor is the fact that home prices have dipped slightly relative to this time last year. Plus, with the average home remaining on the market for 34 days, you won’t have to rush into a decision. And finally, while many homes do sell above list price, Redfin data shows that more than 22 percent of Raleigh homes that sold in May dropped their price to achieve that “sold” status.
When evaluating how much house you can afford, it’s smart to get preapproved for a mortgage. Preapproval educates you on the maximum amount you can borrow and shows sellers that you’re serious — and qualified.
Raleigh housing market predictions
While the U.S. housing market became overheated after the pandemic, home prices have since simmered down in many areas, including Raleigh. However, experts are confident that corrections in the market will not lead to a housing market crash — and certainly nothing on the scale of the Great Recession.
With its wealth of amenities and job opportunities, the housing market in Raleigh will likely remain strong overall. And its population is growing rapidly, too: According to one Census-data study, Raleigh is one of the fastest-growing cities in the entire nation.
Find a Raleigh real estate agent
Buying or selling a home in Raleigh is a big decision, and working with an experienced real estate agent who knows the market well can make a huge difference. To find the right agent for you, start by asking family and friends for referrals. Search online and take note of “for sale” or “sold” signs in your neighborhood as well. Interview several candidates before choosing the person you want to work with — the right agent will support you throughout your entire transaction, smoothing your path straight through to closing.
Raleigh is a seller’s market. Homes here typically sell at or slightly above asking price, according to Redfin data, and they tend to receive multiple offers as well. That said, higher mortgage rates mean homes are sitting on the market for longer before they sell, and prices have fallen 2.4 percent since last year.
In the short term, yes. According to Redfin data, the median home price in Raleigh declined 2.4 percent this May compared to May of last year. However, prices are much higher than they were in the early days of the pandemic, and higher than the national median price as well.