Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Local home prices rise 5%

Housing prices in the Raleigh area rose by nearly 5 percent in the last 12 months, according to new federal data.

The numbers come from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the group that oversees the government-backed mortgage buyers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Across the country, OFHEO says, prices were flat over the past 12 months.

OFHEO's numbers put Raleigh 30th among the hundreds of metropolitan statistical areas in the country for home price increases.

But the increases come at a time when sales themselves are flat, with buyers waiting for the market to hit bottom. Triangle home sales dropped by 24 percent in April, the Triangle Multiple Listing Service recently reported.

MLS also said that the sale price of an existing home fell 1.5 percent in April from a year earlier. MLS' data include nearly all home sales in the region, however, while OFHEO's figures only include mortgages that qualify to get bought by Fannie or Freddie. That excludes most "subprime" mortgages to borrowers with poor credit - by far the worst part of the market.

OFHEO's numbers also include refinancings and home appraisals.

Home prices in the Durham area rose by 3.92 percent in the past 12 months, OFHEO says.

Across the state, prices in Charlotte increased by 6.16 percent. Asheville's home prices were up by 4.52 percent, Durham's by 3.92 percent, Winston-Salem's by 3.82 percent, Greensboro's by 2.76 percent and Wilmington's by 1.30 percent.

Triangle Business Journal; May 22, 2008

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