A market with no inventory where ‘cash is becoming king again’: How a decadelong surge in North Carolina’s housing market exploded in 2020

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For years, Anthony Steven and his wife had talked about moving from Long Island, New York, to North Carolina’s Raleigh area, within the Research Triangle that also encompasses Chapel Hill and Durham.

His wife worked remotely as a program manager for a central lab nearby, and a move would allow her more time in the office. Plus, “the cost of living on Long Island really was getting to be insane,” Steven, 40, told Business Insider. “But I had a good job and didn’t see the point in leaving.”

That all changed after Steven’s company laid off more than 100 employees, including him, as a result of the pandemic. Almost immediately, he said, he and his wife moved down south with their family.

“The cost of living in North Carolina and the quality of life were far more favorable than we imagined,” Steven said. “People are definitely friendlier here. There are a lot of transplants from all over the country all looking to meet people.”

Big multistate moves like the Stevens’ to the Tar Heel State have been happening for much of the past decade, but something is different about 2020.

“We’ve been a desired area for years,” said Linda Trevor, who’s been an agent in the Raleigh area for 21 years. But she said she’d never seen anything like the current market.

“The pandemic made people want to be here more,” she said.

The pandemic has heated up the already hot Research Triangle

The Triangle has long been attractive for its diverse employer base. It’s home to three major research universities — North Carolina State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — and dozens of major employers, including Bank of America and Credit Suisse.

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“There’s always been a movement from north to south,” said Lynda Edwards, a real-estate agent in the Research Triangle area since 1987 and a native North Carolinian. Even so, Edwards said, two major areas in the market, Cary and the north Raleigh area, have “had a huge surge this year.”

Census data indicates the population in the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area jumped by 23% from 2010 to 2019, from 1.1 million to 1.4 million. Edwards attributed the area’s growth largely to Northeastern transplants — both young professionals and retirees — seeking a lower cost of living and a higher quality of life.

“This part of the South is really an anomaly,” Edwards said. “It’s rich with growth from people all over the world. I work with a very diverse group of people. It’s very different from anywhere else in the South, and I attribute that to the Research Triangle Park. I work with a lot of doctors, people in research, tech people, Duke employees, people that own laboratories, energy centers, pharmacy groups.”

This pandemic-era surge in demand has run into another pandemic-era housing trend: a severe lack of inventory.

“We had no inventory and still don’t,” said Edwards, who largely works with new-construction single-family homes and saw a 25% increase in her June sales volume alone. “There was a period …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Finance

      

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