Every day Vacation and Affordability…

According to data recently compiled by the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors, home sales improved slightly in the second quarter over the first quarter of 2011. The average sales price rose by 5 percent. The average listing price for sold properties increased by 3.8 percent to $238,671.  And the average number of days on market dropped from 144 to 133.  Buying real estate continues to be cheaper than renting in the vast majority of major U.S. cities, according to a quarterly rent vs. buy index from real estate search and marketing site Trulia.  The index compared the median list price and the median annualized rent on a two-bedroom apartment, condominium or townhouse in the country's 50 most populous cities. According to the index, the cost of buying was less than renting in 37 of the 50 cities (74 percent) as of July 1, 2011. About the same share, 78 percent, favored buying over renting in Trulia's last index report, released in April.  Affordability rankings resonate with travelers who seek value, especially in tough economic times. 

Good news this week the Bloomberg Businessweek ranked Wilmington as number 7 on its list of 25 Most Fun, Affordable U.S. Cities. It’s hot on the heels of the late-July announcement from online travel giant Orbitz that ranked Wilmington as their top destination for late-summer beach bargains in the U.S., Caribbean and the East Coast.

This week’s statistics for Wilmington according to Truilia shows the affordability and reasons to buy now.  Starting with average price per square foot for Wilmington was $116, a decrease of 6.5% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Wilmington NC for May 11 to Jul 11 was $173,750 based on 330 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 2.5%, or $4,413, and the number of home sales decreased 59.8%. There are currently 3,141 resale and new homes in Wilmington including 1 open house, as well as 191 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale was $361,440 for the week ending Aug 10, which represents an increase of 0.5%, or $1,973, compared to the prior week. Popular neighborhoods in Wilmington include Landfall and Pine Valley Estates, with average listing prices of $1,007,307 and $197,750.   We can step right outside the city limits for those looking for county properties and see how Castle Hayne ranked last week.   The average price per square foot for Castle Hayne was $90, a decrease of 12.6% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Castle Hayne, for May 11 to Jul 11 was $118,194 based on 14 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price decreased 9.4%, or $12,306, and the number of home sales decreased 30%. There are currently 89 resale and new homes in Castle Hayne including 14 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Castle Hayne NC was $238,900 for the week ending Aug 10, which represents an increase of 19.8%, or $39,501, compared to the prior week.

The report from the Bloomberg only enforces what those of us that live in and around Wilmington already know.   The Bloomberg used a report from Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate and real estate data company Onboard Informatics to formulate their list. Recently, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate reported on a number of locations outside major cities that had a variety of restaurants and bars and affordable homes. According to the study, Wilmington has 186 bars and restaurants.  So there’s an unlimited amount of places to go and see  in our area.  To view Bloomberg’s full list, visit: http://images.businessweek.com/slideshows/20110809/america-s-most-fun-affordable-cities/

Fortunately, our area which outside of major metropolises offers both affordable homes and a variety of restaurants and bars, according to a new report from Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate. The company, with real estate data company Onboard Informatics, evaluated 6,106 Zip Codes where the median home price is within 20 percent of the state’s median home price. It then selected the 25 areas with the greatest number of bars and restaurants.  Wilmington was on the list of fun, affordable places to live.