Home sales continue to rise in Garner

— Home prices and interest rates show it might just be the perfect time to buy a home if you’re looking for a fresh living space in Garner.

This home on at 320 Easy Wind Lane was recently sold. The housing market has continued to increase each year since the Great Recession. JONATHAN M. ALEXANDER — jalexander@newsobserver.com

More people have bought homes in the Southeast Raleigh/Garner area through October of this year than the same time last year, according to data from the Triangle Multiple Listing Services.

Local real estate agents sold 920 homes through October in 2014, compared to 781 the same time a year ago.

Danny Babb, an agent for Remax Southland, said interest rates are a contributing factor. He said they are nearly at an all-time low and folks looking for a new home want to buy before interest rates go back up.

“Interest rates are about 3.5 to 4 percent,” Babb said. “That’s unheard of. You can buy a whole lot cheaper than you can rent.”

Paul Capps, a real estate agent for Fonville Morisey Realty, agreed that houses are going off the market much quicker than in previous years. He said during the Great Recession, business had gone down nearly 70 percent. But it has increased each year since 2010. Capps said the revitalization of the city is attracting more people to the area.

Garner will be home to the state’s first Cabela’s. The outdoors mega-store at White Oak – expected to open in April – may put 3.6 million people in White Oak’s potential market, given the lengths people will drive to the chain.

A Drury Inn Hotel and a Carolina Ale House will fill the northeast quadrant of the U.S. 70 and Jones Sausage Road intersection.

The average days a house is spending on the market in 2014 is 92 days compared to 100 in 2013.

And as houses are spending less time on the market, supply also continues to decrease.

“A year and a half ago, we had a 13-month supply of homes, and now we have about a 90-day supply,” Babb said. “Builders are going rapidly. They are selling quicker than we can get them on the ground.”

In Garner the number of permits issued for the 12-month period ending in September increased from 55 to 97, a 43 percent increase from the previous 12-month period. That means building has picked up.

But Linda Powell, of Powell Realty, said a low supply can be a problem.

The homes that are selling the most in Garner are the more cheaper homes. Nearly three-fourths of the homes sold in Garner were less than $200,000.

“People are being careful to buy in the price range they can afford,” Powell said. “In previous years a lot of people bought more house than they could afford.

A lot of people lost their homes, and are renting at a much lower price range because they can pay their bills now,” she added. “They’re almost afraid to buy a home”

Powell said she thinks Internet-savvy renters and homeowners are now more knowledgable of how the housing market works and are thinking twice about buying an expensive house.

“The public is a lot more educated about it,” Powell said. “Our younger people are educated, know where to go to get the information, understand the loans and don’t want to get in a loan they can’t pay back.”

Capps and Babb said they see the housing market continuing to increase, but Powell sounded a more cautionary tone.

“I just don’t know,” she said.

Alexander: 919-812-4822; Twitter: @GarnerCleveland

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