Very high-value segment saw over $470 million from seven sales. Apartment activity continues positive trend. Refinancing activity fell 3% from August level.
Wake County Register of Deeds Tammy L. Brunner
Raleigh, NC - September 2021 saw over $470 million with seven real estate transactions for the very high-value segment (transactions worth $30 million and above) in Wake County. This is a $210 million increase from August’s four transactions of $260 million. Heavy apartment activity is still trending, five out of the seven transactions were apartment/future apartment land ownership transfers.
- Bell Preston Reserve Apartments, Cary: $110 million.
- Six Forks Station Shopping Center, Raleigh: $74 million.
- The Edition on Oberlin: $71 million.
- Raleigh Corporate Center: $63 million.
- The Greens at Tryon: $61.8 million.
- North Carolina Apartments 1, LP: $56.9 million.
- Lofts at North Hills: $32 million.
The high-value segment, (transactions worth between $1 million to $30 million), had 144 transactions totaling near $489 million.
Transactions in the Core Market (property valued at $1 million or less) enjoyed 2,590 transactions totaling $1.02 billion, down over $109 million (9%) from August 2021’s core market transactions of $1.13 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 $390,000 for the month of September 2021, a new high. This is a $25,000 increase from August 2021’s price of $365,000. September 2021’s median price is $61,000 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. 94.4% of September 2021’s transactions occurred in the core market.
Lending activity fell 3% in September
Real estate lending activity in September 2021 fell 3% from August 2021’s level and compared to September 2020, it was down 15%. There were 7,030 deed of trust transactions in September 2021.
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 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 decreased in September 2021, even so, 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.
The following chart shows the number of deeds recorded in Wake County for each month from 2019 through year-to-date 2021. The 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. The number of deeds of trust recorded reflects 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 September 2021, 23.37% 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
This report was initially released on October 13th, 2021.