Raleigh’s Real Estate: An area guide to the growth and growing communities
Writer: Joshua Andino, Capital Analytics Associates
2 min read – September 2022— New residents have been coming to Raleigh and the Triangle region for a while now. With strong business growth, new jobs, desirable amenities and new development, the attraction for potential residents is ensuring the trend continues across a variety of communities in the area.
The region has been one of the most popular markets in the country, with Raleigh’s population alone having swelled to 469,124 according to the most recent U.S. Census, and grew 23% from 2010 to 2019. The growth has long spilled far beyond Raleigh proper, with communities across the Triangle thriving in the wake of continual demand. Cary, Holly Springs, Apex, Fuquay Varina, and even the more rural Chatham and Lee Counties continue to see strong real estate growth and development. Cary alone has seen its town center thrive with the near-billion dollar Fenton mixed use property. Similar projects spanning the gamut of single family homes to mixed use multifamily developments continue are emerging across a variety of different neighborhoods, towns and cities across the wider metropolitan area explained Mahala Landin, Broker in Charge and Managing Partner of The Rachel Kendall Real Estate Team.
In Raleigh specifically, Landin says some of the most visible changes are those along its Downtown and historic Hillsborough Street, where diversifying housing stock and new projects continue to develop and support the local area. “We are no longer just providing the single-homebuyer options, but also condo, high rise, and multifamily options in both private property and the rental market. This shows the impact of the diversity of buyers that are looking for what they had in their previous home town as well as a greater attention to managing growth,” she said. “More visible to the residents of our market is the Downtown appearance of apartments, grocery stores and businesses that reflect more than just a place to work but also a place to live.”
By contrast, Raleigh’s quieter North Ridge neighborhood, with its tree-lined streets, large wooded lots and manicured lawns, is anchored by the private North Ridge Country Club and its two 18-hole golf courses. Prices range from a few hundred thousand to multiple millions. “The North Ridge neighborhood in North Raleigh saw the highest price per square foot in the last six months at $704 per square foot and a sales price of $5 million,”said Rebekah Lindsey, one of the top-producing agents for the firm.
In Cary, new families are looking to make the most of the area’s strong schools. West Cary in particular has seen its property values rise as families settle in. “Families relocating to North Carolina are targeting this area because of the public school ratings, Panther Creek and Green Hope are two of the highest-rated high schools in Wake County on some third-party websites,” Liza Seymour, a broker with The Rachel Kendall team, told Invest: in a statement. Another popular Cary neighborhood, MacGregor Downs, routinely sees prices over $600 per square foot, with its mix of both old and new construction appealing to a wide variety of buyers and paralleling North Ridge in terms of price and proximity to critical infrastructure, added Lindsey.
The announcement of major relocations, such as Apple’s new engineering campus, in addition to a slew of others across Wake County and the Triangle, have further buoyed already high prices across Raleigh and made it one of the strongest sellers’ markets in the nation, according to RocketMortgage.
Despite some of the price tags, Landin notes there’s ample opportunity for those looking to beat out high prices. “For buyers looking to get ahead of the curve or to realize home prices below the median home price of $440,000 as it is in Wake County, we look outside of the Triangle to more rural and developing communities,” with Chatham and Lee County specifically seeing a strong economic growth as a result of the region’s swelling population. Median home prices round out to $277,500 in Lee and just over $685,000 in Chatham, and provide a welcome respite further out from the city.
Sanford, Lee County’s seat, is a popular market thanks to its easy access to US-1 and I-95 and makes for a pleasant commute into Raleigh. Granville County’s Stem and Creedmoor are communities Landin helps buyers see the opportunities in, as well as Wilson further east as it continues to develop. “Local businesses are sprouting up like breweries, farm to table restaurants, and grocery stores convenient to homes with ample lot sizes, and variety in ages and sizes. It makes for a great combination of what the Triangle is well known for and space to spread out in,” Landin said.
While prices across the Triangle are rising, they remain more affordable than a number of other markets across the country. Business forecaster Kiplinger rates Raleigh’s affordability at a 6 from a scale of 1 to 10, most to least affordable. While prices are climbing, they remain accessible – particularly to those who are relocating due to job growth and coming form high-tax environments, such as New York or California, states whose metro areas routinely score a 10 on Kiplinger’s scale.
As wages continue to rise and dollars stretch even further as a result of a tight labor market and aforementioned relocations of large high-paying companies, it remains likely that Raleigh and its surrounding markets will continue to see new growth, new housing construction and continued demand. With a number of communities to choose from, stretching from Sanford to Cary, Raleigh’s North Ridge and downtown Raleigh itself, the region provides everything from cityside hustle to peaceful country living.