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Part 2: What kind of shape is the Chatham County real estate market in?

By Lyne Hayes
Posted Friday, November 26, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC- Here's the second part of the update on the real estate market in Chatham County, NC. I want to give you a picture of how things are going in some of the areas of Chatham. I do see signs of things picking up and I am hopeful that we will have a better real estate year in 2011.

Meanwhile, it's helpful to look at the supply of homes relative to the demand - that gives us an idea whether prices are going to continue to fall or if we will start to see some stabilization. A healthy real estate market has a 4-6 month supply of homes on the market. Anything lower than that and we see steep price appreciation. Higher numbers mean the market is soft and prices will begin to drop for those who have to sell.

First, general statistics. The average sales price in Chatham last year was $307,521, and that included a range of prices from $10,000 to $1,350,000 which shows how diverse the Chatham market is. Interestingly enough, even though the market is soft and prices are falling, homes still sold for 95% of their asking price. This reflects what realtors know - that sellers usually have to drop their price into a range where a buyer will start to make offers before it can sell.

General statistics though don't tell the whole story in a county as diverse as Chatham.

In downtown Pittsboro, for example, the average price was $185,014. There are currently 26 homes for sale in all price ranges and 23 homes have sold over the past year. That's about an 11-month supply of homes which suggests the market is still soft but the affordability of most of the homes in Pittsboro makes this a stronger market.

The higher end has been hit the hardest in terms of dropping prices. The Preserve is an example of a high end neighborhood that is in a location which has historically been in great demand since it's closer to Wake County. Currently there are 36 homes on the market and 19 sold over the past twelve months with an average sales price of $545,433. That's a 23-month supply of homes which is an extremely competitive market.

In Siler City the average sales price last year was $183,526, about the same as Pittsboro. But only 10 homes sold through the MLS in the past twelve months in this area, and there are 16 homes on the market which means there's a 19-month supply of homes.

In Fearrington the average sales price last year was $274,793, with 34 homes selling there over the past twelve months. There are 24 homes currently for sale, which is an 8-month supply of homes.

These statistics reflect the high level of activity that we saw because of the tax credit earlier this year; once that was over the market did drop off. But there is better economic news in the second half of the year, with more company hirings and no news of layoffs. This is why I think we will have a better year in 2011.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about the market.

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Part 2: What kind of shape is the Chatham County real estate market in?