Real Estate - Residential

Report: Home Sales Down In November But High Demand, Low Inventory Remain

By Cece Nunn, posted Dec 10, 2021
Wilmington-based Cape Fear Realtors released statistics for November home sales in the tri-county region of New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties. (Courtesy of Cape Fear Realtors)
The number of homes sold in the Wilmington area in November declined 11% compared to the same month last year, according to a report this week from Cape Fear Realtors.

Home sales are typically slower in the fall months before starting to pick back up again in January and peaking in spring and summer, said Tom Gale, president of CFR. But there’s been nothing typical about the past two years as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Last November, the number of homes sold soared 36% over November 2019, CFR records show.

Home sales “just did not slow down last year because there were people still looking in December of last year who hadn‘t been able to find anything earlier in the year,” Gale said. ‘Buyers never cooled off.”

Despite the November slowdown, Realtors are still seeing high demand and low inventory, Gale said.

“In November, pending sales saw a minimal decline of 2.3% year over year, although up 30% compared to 2019,” the CFR report stated. “New listings were down 15.3% while homes are selling 47% faster than November 2020, confirming the need for more inventory and persistent buyer demand.”

The median sales price hit an all-time high of $320,000, up 13.5% year over year, which is a 30% increase from the same period in 2019, according to the report. 

Inventory levels were down in the tri-county region of New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties, by 50%, 1,173 fewer homes for sale this November compared to the previous year, the report stated.

National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun said in a November release that even though there may be a decline in home sales in 2022, he predicts home sales will outdo pre-pandemic levels. The prediction is based on an anticipation of more inventory generated from new housing construction as well as from the conclusion of the mortgage forbearance program, which in turn will cause a number of homeowners to sell, according to the NAR release.

"With more housing inventory to hit the market, the intense multiple offers will start to ease," Yun said in the release. "Home prices will continue to rise but at a slower pace."
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