July 14th, 2015 4:19 PM by Lori Speight
Local Home Sales In June Jump 28 Percent, Highest In 9 Years
By Cece Nunn-Wilmington Business Journal-July 14, 2015
The number of homes sold in June represented the largest increase this year over 2014 monthly figures, according to the latest local statistics. In New Hanover, northern Brunswick and Pender counties, 802 homes were sold in June this year compared to 624 in June 2014, a change of more than 28 percent, the numbers from the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors show. The June sales also achieved an increase of 22 percent over May's total. Home sales reached their highest level for June since 2006, when 840 units were sold. The average sale price jumped more than $8,000 this June over the price for June 2014, while the median price increased a little over $5,000, the numbers say. Nationally, home sale numbers have also been trending upward, according to the National Association of Realtors. Pending home sales in the U.S. continued to rise in May (the latest figures available) and were at their highest level in more than nine years, a recent NAR news release said. "The steady pace of solid job creation seen now for over a year has given the housing market a boost this spring," said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, in a June 29 news release. Potential buyers in the Wilmington area are also feeling more job security, and higher rental rates are likely pushing buyers into a market where they can pay toward owning a home for the same amount as or less than renting, said Sherri Pickard, WRAR president. Although the NAR figures showed small decreases in its pending home sale numbers for the south, the Wilmington area's figures have often bucked national trends. And while sales nationwide appeared in May to be on track to reach their best showing since the downturn, Yun said, the ability of potential buyers to afford higher prices remains a concern. "Housing affordability remains a pressing issue with home-price growth increasing around four times the pace of wages," he said, referring to the national trend. "Without meaningful gains in new and existing supply, there's no question the goalpost will move farther away for many renters wanting to become homeowners."