Let's look back at March in Orange County to see how the first month of this year's Spring Market is affecting Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and surrounding neighborhoods...
Off the bat I can tell I chose the colors poorly. While Orange and Carolina Blue might feel right, they look gaudy. However, I should be focusing on the numbers, not the horrible clashing or how I'd rather not redo the chart.
The number of listings are almost identical between 2015 and 2016. With Chapel Hill being as great as it is - I really can't blame people for not wanting to move away. But, because of that aforementioned awesomeness, people still want to move here. So while we have about a third of the available listings close (like last year), look at those sales prices and days on market.
It's the same story as Wake County. Homes are selling for more and in less time. The average sales price for a home in Orange County was just south of $400,000. If that trend holds then next year a similar home could sell for $480,000 or $560,000 in 2018.
I don't think we're looking at another bubble. A decade ago you had a ton of people who probably shouldn't have been buying a home all competing for the same homes and that drove prices up. This time around it's a lack of inventory driving prices up. Lack or supply versus inflated demand.
It also shows you why waiting can be costly. If you're looking for a home and your budget is $400,000 - or a $1,900/month mortgage, in two years you're going to be forced into a much smaller home because this years $400,000 homes could be selling for $550,000 or more in just a couple of years. That's a $2,600 mortgage payment.
And for sellers, while it might be good to sit on a home for a couple more years and make that much more money - remember, you will have to find another home as well. If you're planning on buying then you'll be feeling the same crunch as everyone else.