2011 North Carolina Housing Market

Hoping the tough economy will soon be behind them, homeowners in North Carolina are looking for help and some especially hard hit unemployed and under-employed types will receive it from the federal government. The real estate boom treated the state wonderfully as it prospered and pushed a record number of new residents to move to the state. But the fallout from the financial crisis is devastating and will take years to unwind.


Drastic declines in home prices have developed in some areas, while others have sustained less of an impact. Housing appreciation, however, for most of the state is still a long ways off, despite some signs of temporary improvement, as North Carolina undergoes a lengthy recovery process from the financial crisis.

Prosperity and good times rolled for years in Charlotte, once the booming east-coast hub of the banking industry, but Charlotte is suffering through the financial crisis much worse than many other regions. High foreclosures are translating into lower home prices. More than two years after the banking meltdown, Charlotte is finding it hard to find its way back. “Banktown’s” been understandably jarred as bankers own homes get repossessed.

Foreclosures and short-sales account for nearly half of all homes sales in the Charlotte area, the state’s largest metro market. Sales are projected to remain sluggish in Charlotte in most of 2011 as the banking industry adapts to a new sort of environment. Housing prices are forecast to decline an average of 8.9% in Charlotte as the community becomes accustom to a new sort of economy.

The Triangle housing market suffered through a tough end to 2010, nearly coming to a standstill as foreclosures pressured home prices more than most had ever thought would occur. After the federal buyer tax credit expired record low interest rates seemed to do little to help the Raleigh market or neighboring Chapel Hill.

The burst of home sales produced by the credit failed to have any sort of lasting impact, but at least prices shot upward slightly. In Raleigh, Durham and neighboring Chapel Hill home sales dropped more than a third after the credit expired, sending the markets into a sort of painful fall. As more businesses lay-off workers, the community at least is anchored to some extent in its vast academic structure of universities.

The Triangle area is home to more than 1.5 million residents, most of whom will be able to wait out the tough real estate market. In Raleigh the market will take a clearing of foreclosures before stabilization can be found. However, a more diversified job base should help propel Raleigh into a recovery sooner than the rest of the state. Raleigh is forecast to sustain lower 4.3% deflation in 2011 on its way to appreciation towards the latter half of the year.

Unemployment hovering near 10% in North Carolina is hurting the economy and triggering foreclosures. But no other area in the state is suffering from record high unemployment as much as Wilmington, where homeowners have walked away from their homes in equally discouraging record numbers. Home prices are a bargain in Wilmington, where investors have been flocking to find rock bottom priced deals.

Historic Wilmington Riverwalk

Wilmington is sustaining one of the hardest hits in the nation’s foreclosure crisis for a community that is far removed from the hustle and bustle of big city urban living. The average home is forecast to sustain a loss of 9.2% in 2011.

Home sales were like a diver rapidly crashing into the water of a pool at an Olympic diving venue in Greensboro after the federal tax credit expired. The market saw sales decline more than a third from year ago figures and prices came slamming down. In Greensboro, and neighboring Winston-Salem the markets will take sometime time to adjust to a different less economically fortified environment. Average home prices are forecast to decline another 8.3% in 2011 on sluggish sales.

Retirees moved to North Carolina during the boom for less expensive housing prices and now many, who consider themselves “Half-backs” since they moved half-way back from Florida to their former homes further north up the eastern seaboard will make their permanent residences in North Carolina hoping that home prices will substantially go back up someday.

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