The median price of a Durham home in December 2021 was up 33.3% from the year prior according to the latest market trend report compiled by Triangle MLS, a subsidiary of the Raleigh Regional Association of Realtors.
Apart from the increase in median home price, TMLS’ insights show a 29.9% spike in average home price and a 35.1% jump in total dollar volume spent on homes in the Durham area. These figures are likely a result of several unfavorable housing trends from the past year: the number of new listings in Durham decreased by 11.5%, and the total number of homes for sale decreased by 29.4%.
Durham’s higher prices can also be attributed to a number of factors which have upset the national housing market. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders throughout the pandemic have led to a lack of available units. This supply-demand imbalance has a boatload of buyers vying for a smaller range of residences, so sellers have continued to elevate prices. Mortgage rates across the country are as low as they have been in some time, which means down payments on houses are higher than average—enough to lessen the amount of prospective buyers, but not enough to see a reduction in home prices. In addition, average income in the U.S. has consistently risen over the past few decades, and inflation recently hit a 39-year high.
There was already a shortage of homes prior to the pandemic, and conditions have only been exacerbated over the past few years. Experts predict much of the same over the course of 2022, though there may be hope for change. The Federal Open Market Committee—an arm of the Federal Reserve—met in December 2021 to forecast movement for the upcoming year. Twelve FOMC members expect to see at least three increases in interest rates, which could lead to an uptick in mortgage rates and potentially less prospective homeowners.
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Gautam Sirdeshmukh is a Trinity senior and a staff reporter for the news department. He was previously the health & science news editor of The Chronicle's 117th volume.