The Winston-Salem area housing market closed out 2020 with a continuing surge in sales and median sales prices.
The Winston-Salem Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that the median sales price in Forsyth County was $248,126 in November and $242,802 in December.
By comparison, the median sales price was $203,281 in November 2019 and $209,022 in December 2019.
The median sales price has been above $240,000 each month since August.
The association reported 802 closed sales in Forsyth during November, compared with 697 in November 2019. The December closed sales totals were 916, up from 754 a year ago.
The monthly closed sales total has been above 800 since August.
"We are excited to see the housing market continue to make significant gains," Phillip Johnson Jr., the association's president for 2021, said in a statement.
"We continue to see Winston Salem and North Carolina as a desirable location to live and people relocating to our market.
"This, combined with currently low mortgage rates, is allowing many people to purchase homes for the first time," Johnson said.
CoreLogic, a national real-estate research company, reported recently that home prices in the Winston-Salem area remained a decidedly seller's marketplace during November, rising at a 9.7% year-over-year clip.
Prices in Forsyth, Davidson, Davie, Stokes and Yadkin counties have been on a pronounced upward trend during the COVID-19 pandemic, also climbing by 9% year-over-year in October and 7.4% in September.
The Winston-Salem area was second out of North Carolina’s five main metro areas for the November period.
CoreLogic does not disclose a median house price.
When excluding distressed and foreclosed houses, Winston-Salem area prices were up year over year 9.5% in November, 9.1% in October and 7.8% in September.
By comparison, home prices in the Greensboro-High Point MSA increased 10.5% in November, 8.5% in October and 6.9% in September.
When excluding distressed and foreclosed houses, prices rose 10.3% in November, 8.4% in October and 6.9% in September.
“The housing market performed remarkably well in 2020 despite the volatile economic state,” said Frank Martell, president and chief executive of CoreLogic.
“While we can expect to see lingering effects of COVID-19 resurgences and subsequent shutdowns in the early months of 2021, vaccine distributions and stimulus actions should revitalize economic activity and keep home purchase demand and home-price growth strong.”
Home prices in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia MSA increased 8.5% in November, 8.3% in October and 7.8% in September. When excluding distressed and foreclosed houses, prices rose 8.8% in November, 8.1% in October and 7.6% in September.
In the Durham-Chapel Hill MSA, home prices rose 7.7% in November, 7.3% in October and 5.9% in September. When excluding distressed and foreclosed houses, prices rose 7.9% in November, 7.2% in October and 6% in September.
In the Raleigh-Cary MSA, home prices were up 6.6% in November, 6% in October and 5.3% in September. When excluding distressed and foreclosed houses, prices rose 6.6% in November, 6% in October and 5.4% in September.
“The demographic tailwind has arrived as Generation X and millennials drive housing demand,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist at CoreLogic.
“Lower-priced home values increased about 1½ times faster than higher-priced home values in November, as first-time buyers tend to seek out homes within the lower price ranges.”