Home sales dropped more than 26% in May, continuing an expected decline because of measures to slow the coronavirus pandemic, a Cape Fear Realtors report stated this week.
But pending sales, with a 26% gain over last May, showed signs of buyers coming back.
"Sellers are taking a more cautious approach to entering the market while buyers are returning in full force due to consistent low mortgage rates and limited inventory," according a CFR news release.
The inventory led to a median sales price increase of 5.6% to $262,000.
"Townhouse/condo properties had the largest gain with an increase of 8.8% to $206,650," the release stated. "Marketwide, days on market has decreased 9.3% to 68, holding steady month-over-month from April."
Tony Harrington, president of Cape Fear Realtors and owner and broker in charge of The Property Shop International Realty, said Thursday, "The remaining inventory that is actually out there is flying off the shelf and because of it, the property values are going up.
"And yet we're showing the lowest inventory that we've had in a long time. So of course affordable housing is just non-existent."
As a result of a lack of homes at lower price points, homebuyers are continuing to look at areas outside of Wilmington and New Hanover County.
"I've got several brokers that do nothing but the Duplin, Sampson, and northern Pender County market and everything they touch as far as a new listing pops off within a day," Harrington said.
Cape Fear Realtors recently added a weekly market tool to monitor market activity and review weekly fluctuations in the three-county region, the release stated.
With the new tool, Realtor members can analyze weekly data points and compare them to the previous three months, according to the release.
“Right now, most homeowners and potential buyers have questions about the real estate market. This new tool allows Realtors to present those potential buyers and sellers with real-time data so they can feel confident moving through their transaction knowing exactly what the market is doing,” Harrington said in the release.
According to the release, "The pressure nudging prices higher is a combination of 311 fewer homes coming to market across the three-county region and pent-up demand from the prior month’s dampened buyer activity."