At $398,500, Median Sales Price of Wake County Real Estate Continues Upward Trajectory with Another New All-time High in October 2021

 

Very high-value segment saw over $209 million from four sales, apartment/townhome housing activity continues positive trend.

Refinancing remained consistent with September level.
Wake County Register of Deeds Tammy L. Brunner

For Immediate Release
Contact: Luther Snyder [email protected]

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Raleigh, NC - October 2021 reached over $209 million in sales with four real estate transactions for the very high-value segment (transactions worth $30 million and above) in Wake County. This is a $260 million decrease from September’s seven transactions of roughly $470 million. Apartment/townhouse activity is still trending as three out of the four transactions were apartment/townhome transfers.

  1. The Gregory North & South Apartments, Cary: $66 million.
  2. 2201 & 2141 S. Wilmington Street, Raleigh: $55.5 million.
  3. Woodbridge Apartment Homes, Cary: $55 million.
  4. Northwoods Townhomes, Cary: $33 million.


The high-value segment, (transactions worth between $1 million to $30 million), had 148 transactions totaling over $427 million.

Transactions in the Core Market (property valued at $1 million or less) enjoyed 2,928 transactions totaling $1.18 billion, up over $165 million (14%) from September 2021’s core market transactions of $1.02 billion.

The following chart shows the dollar value of real estate transfers by month broken down into three price ranges.


A breakdown of the dollar value of transactions by price range for the years 2014 – 2019 is available at Wake County 2019 Property Market and Trends 2014 - 2019

Median sales prices

The median sales price of a parcel of Wake County real estate was $398,500 for the month of October 2021, setting another new record high. This is a $8,500 increase from September 2021’s price of $390,000. October 2021’s median price is $69,500 above January 2021’s median price of $328,750.


Changes in median sales prices tend to be caused by activity in the core market. The occurrence or non-occurrence of large transactions has virtually no impact on the calculation of median values because there are so few of those transactions. 95.06% of October 2021’s transactions occurred in the core market.

Lending activity stayed consistent in October

Real estate lending activity in October 2021 rose slightly (.58%) from September 2021’s level and compared to October 2020, it was down 18%. There were 7,071 deed of trust transactions in October 2021.

Real estate lending activity has two primary components.

  1. The first is lending that coincides with a transfer of ownership of real estate. This is seen in the typical residential home sale where simultaneously a seller’s loan is paid off and a buyer takes out a new loan as ownership is transferred by deed.
  2. The second is where a new loan secured by real estate is taken out, but there is not a change in ownership of the underlying property. This is the situation in the typical mortgage refinancing or second mortgage transaction.

The relative strength of the second type of lending activity can be quantified by comparing the ratio of deeds of trust to deeds in a period. Relatively more deeds of trust signify increasing refinance of mortgage loans.

Since the autumn of 2019, there has been a significant increase in the second type of lending activity. The following chart shows the continuing wide gap between deeds of trust and deeds. This gap, compared to a baseline period from 2019 through early 2020, quantifies increasing strength in the mortgage refinance market. Deed volume and Deeds of Trust volume increased in October 2021, and the gap between the two remains consistently wide.

 

Long-Term Trends in Real Estate Activity

Aggregate value of real estate transactions

The following chart shows the aggregate dollar value of real estate transactions in Wake County for each month from 2019 through year-to-date 2021. Because real estate transactions tend to be seasonal, it is useful to compare monthly results to the corresponding month of prior years.

 

Aggregate value of real estate transactions - linear

The following chart shows the aggregate dollar value of real estate transfers in Wake County linearly (month by month) from January 2019 through year-to-date 2021. Because real estate transactions tend to be seasonal, this information should be evaluated in conjunction with the year over year comparison is shown in the preceding chart.

 

Deed volume

The following chart shows the number of deeds recorded in Wake County for each month from 2019 through year-to-date 2021. Numbers of deeds recorded reflect the velocity of real estate activity without regard to the dollar value of a transaction. The number of deeds includes transfers where monetary consideration did not change hands, such as transfers within a family.

 

Real estate lending

This chart shows the number of deeds of trust recorded in Wake County for each month from 2019 through year-to-date 2021. A deed of trust is the legal instrument used in North Carolina to secure a loan with real estate used as collateral. Numbers of deeds of trust recorded reflect the velocity of lending transactions involving real estate without regard to the dollar amount of the loan.

 

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, including security interests 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 these transactions were property transfers by deed and the balance were miscellaneous transactions such as acquisitions of a right of way. The calculation of the aggregate value of real estate includes all transactions. The calculation of the median price includes all transactions where the property containing excise tax was transferred by deed.

The number of deeds and deeds of trust recorded with the Register of Deeds reflects the total volume of property and loan transactions regardless of the dollar value of the real estate or the amount of the loan. The number of deeds includes transfers where monetary consideration did not change hands, such as transfers within a family. In October 2021, 21.93% of deeds attracted no excise tax. In 2020, that percentage was 21% in the first quarter, 22% in the second quarter, 21% for the third quarter, and 23% for the fourth quarter.

On March 14, 2020, public schools were closed, and mass gatherings were prohibited by 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, is 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, plus other information published by the Register of Deeds available at https://www.wakegov.com/news?department=29

 

Contact: Luther Snyder, Deputy Director
O. 919-856-5462
[email protected]

This report was initially released on November 15th, 2021.

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