Apartment activity dominates the Very High-value segment with five sales totaling just over $296 million.
Wake County Register of Deeds Tammy L. Brunner
Raleigh, NC – Wake County’s Very High-value Segment (real estate sales transactions worth $30 million and above) reached just over $296 million in February 2022. This is a $438 million decrease from January 2022’s Very-high value market amount. Apartment activity was still very active with all five transactions owning this segment. February 2022’s Very High-value segment transactions are as follows:
- Aria North Hills Apartments, Raleigh, NC: $79 million.
- Aurella Cary Apartments, Cary, NC: $72.5 million.
- Midtown Crossing Apartments, Raleigh, NC: $54.6 million.
- Averelle North Hills Apartments, Raleigh, NC: $45.9 million.
- North Oaks Landing Apartments, Raleigh, NC: $44 million.
The High-value segment, (transactions worth between $1 million to $30 million), marked 109 transactions totaling over $317 million, a gain of just over $37 million from January 2022.
Transactions in the Core Market (property valued at $1 million or less) saw 1,916 transactions totaling just over $789 million, up 1.5% from January 2022’s total of $777 million.
Total sales value from all three segments equaled over $1.4 billion for February 2022, down 21.7% from January’s total sales of over $1.79 billion. 2,030 total sales occurred in February 2022 which is a 2% increase in the number of sales compared to January 2022’s total sales of 1,986.
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 for February 2022 faired at $420,000, up $10,000 from January 2022’s price of $410,000.
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. 94.38% of February 2022’s transactions occurred in the core market.
Lending activity remained steady in February 2022
Real estate lending activity in February 2022 decreased slightly by 1.5% from January 2022’s level and compared to February 2021, it was down 36%. There were 4,764 deed of trust transactions in February 2022, where January 2022’s deed of trust transactions showed 4,838.
Real estate lending activity has two primary components.
- 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.
- 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 early 2019, there has been a significant increase in the second type of lending activity. The following chart shows the relative wide gap between deeds of trust and deeds. This gap, compared to a baseline of early 2020, quantifies the level of strength in the mortgage refinance market. Deed volume and Deeds of Trust volume decreased again in February 2022, and the gap between the two is narrowing slightly, but remains consistently wide. Deeds and Deeds of Trust transaction volume is nearing the pre-pandemic demarcation of February 2020.
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 2020 through year-to-date 2022. 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 2020 through year-to-date 2022. 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.
The following chart shows the number of deeds recorded in Wake County for each month from 2020 through year-to-date 2022. 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 2020 through year-to-date 2022. 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 February 2022, 29.15% of deeds attracted no excise tax. In 2021, that percentage was 25% in the first quarter, 20% 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
This report was initially released on March 18, 2022.