After a strong spring, new-home sales activity moderated in Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as summer began.
Monthly contract sales decreased post-April, and the 12-month average new-home sales rate fell below 2.5% to about the same level seen one year ago. The metro's new-home pending sales index decreased year over year after three consecutive months of year-over-year gains over spring.
Annual new-home starts have declined steeply, while annual closings remain relatively stable. In the Research Triangle's resale market, home prices are in record territory despite higher mortgage rates, mainly due to the lack of resale inventory.
Chatham County will be home to VinFast's $4 billion electric vehicle and Wolfspeed's $5 billion semiconductor plants. Wolfspeed and Apple could bring thousands of workers from California, Toronto, and Boston to the region over the next few years with their high incomes and home equity.
Durham's new-home affordability ratio is only slightly above January's 10-year low. With a much lower volume of active projects than Raleigh, Durham exhibits greater supply constraints, and the project count continues to decrease month over month and year over year.
Quarterly housing starts decreased 28.7% from a year ago, while the number of available vacant developed lots sits at 2,551, up 16.6% over the same quarter last year. Regarding supply/demand balance, the market area is 0.57% undersupplied.
New-home sales in the Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area decreased 33.8% year over year to an annualized rate of 1,478 units in June. Existing-home closings for the 12 months ending in June posted a year-over-year decline of 35.2% to an annualized rate of 9,940 units.
The average list price for a new detached home in the region decreased 1.1% from 2022 to $531,175 in June, while the average list price for a new attached home decreased 38.1% over the same period to $394,142—homes priced over $550,000 experienced the most closing activity over the past year. The new-home affordability ratio for a detached house reached 24.7% in June.
Total nonfarm employment in the metropolitan statistical area increased 2.7% from the same period last year to 346,400 payrolls in May, with approximately 1,900 more jobs compared April. The local unemployment rate decreased to 2.9% in May compared with 3% in the previous month. May's jobless rate is lower than it was this time last year when it stood at 3%. Zonda forecasts the region's unemployment rate will finish the year at 3.1%.
The current population of the area is approximately 676,120 people and is projected to increase by 1.2% this year. There are about 278,830 households in the region, up 1.9% year over year. Forecasts show that current household formation is expected to increase by an annual growth rate of 3.4% for 2028. Incomes rose by 5.4% from the previous year to $78,989.