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July 21
June 2020 Real Estate Transactions Were Up Across the Price Spectrum



Tuesday, July 21, 2020
For Immediate Release

Contact: Luther Snyder, Deputy Director
O. 919-856-5462 M. 919-369-7045
luther.snyder@wakegov.com

June 2020 Real Estate Transactions Were Up Across the Price Spectrum

But Activity was Slightly Stronger in the Above Median Price Ranges

An analysis of June 2020 Wake County core market real estate transactions released by Charles Gilliam, the Register of Deeds, shows that in June activity increased across the price spectrum.

The following chart shows the number of transactions in the core market in June 2020, as compared to the average month of the first quarter of 2020, broken down by the dollar value of the transaction. May 2020 is also included. 

The core market is defined as property transactions valued at $1 million and less.

Wake County Number of Property Transfers by price May and June 2020 compared to average month Q1.png



The first quarter of 2020 was a period before the impact of Covid-19 economic restrictions were felt. This can be regarded as a baseline period. In both April and May, real estate activity was dampened. In June, activity returned to a pre-Covid pace in comparison to both 2019 and earlier months in 2020.

Register of Deeds Charles Gilliam states, “proportionately, June was stronger, to a moderate extent, in the higher price points while the first quarter was proportionally stronger at lower price points. In the 2020 first quarter, 47% of sales were below $300,000, while in June 43% were.”

The following chart shows, for each of its periods, the percentage of transactions that took place in a price range. For example, for the price bracket, $300K – $349K,13.8% of all first-quarter transactions were in that bracket while it was 14.7% of all June transactions.

Wake County Number of Property Transfers by price May and June 2020 in each price range compared to average month Q1.png



Additional information, including results for transactions in the one million dollar and up price range, was published by the Register of Deeds earlier this month and is available at 

Methodology and Additional 

Information The statistics in this report are derived from instruments recorded in the office of the Wake County Register of Deeds. Under North Carolina law, changes in property rights in real estate are recorded with the register of deeds of the county where the real estate is located.

The value of real estate transferred is measured by excise tax assessed on the consideration in a real estate transaction. Excise taxes are calculated as $1 in tax for every five hundred dollars of consideration. About 99% of transactions are property transfers by deed and the balance are miscellaneous transactions such as acquisitions of a right of way. The monetary data in this report includes all transactions. 

The core market is defined as property transactions valued at $1 million and less. In June 2020, 98% of transactions were in this core market.

The first quarter 2020 average month was calculated by summing transactions in January, February, and March and dividing the sum by three. For the charts presented in this report, there are 2160 data points for the first quarter average month, 2233 for May and 2754 for June.

The median Wake County real estate sales price for both the first quarter of 2020 and the fourth quarter of 2019 was $310,000. It was $312,500 in June 2020.

Deeds and other instruments recorded with the register of deeds include transfers of interests in real estate where monetary consideration did not change hands, such as transfers within a family. No excise tax is due on such deeds and, therefore, they are not included in the data presented in this report. In June 2020, 23% of deeds attracted no excise tax and in the 2020 first quarter, the percentage was 21%.

On March 14, 2020 public schools were closed and mass gatherings were prohibited by an executive order of the governor. On March 17 and 23, 2020 additional executive orders were issued which closed certain businesses and introduced additional restrictions. Based on these events, a starting date of March 17, 2020, can be used to demark the advent of Covid-19 related legal restrictions on economic activity.

For a complete picture of Wake County real estate activity, the information in this report should be considered in conjunction with data available from other sources, such as rezoning applications and new building permits, and a report on June activity released by the Register of Deeds earlier this month which is available at

This report was initially released on July 21, 2020.

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